Seasoned Napa Valley sales and hospitality leader to oversee the direct to guest sales strategy for legendary Heitz Cellar and former Little Nell lead sommelier to direct hospitality and education
St. Helena, Napa Valley, CA (September 10, 2019) — Heitz Cellar is pleased to announce appointments of Burroughs Blind as Director of Direct to Guest (DTG) Sales and Erik Elliott as Director of Hospitality and Education at the legendary Napa Valley wine estate.
“We’re very excited to welcome Burroughs and Erik to our team,” said Carlton McCoy, president and CEO of Heitz Cellar. “Both of their experiences throughout the industry add to the rich history of Heitz Cellar and our pursuit to continue providing the most ultimate wine experience to our valued guests.”
In his new role, Blind will lead the DTG sales team, including ecommerce, tasting room, and wine club membership. As Director of DTG Sales, Blind will be launching new memberships, managing tasting room sales and allocations and managing Heitz’ direct sales growth strategy.
Blind joins Heitz Cellar with over 13 years of experience at luxury experience destinations around the world. Prior to his appointment at Heitz Cellar, Blind held various positions at Buddy Bombards Europe as the Head Chef for his one-of-a-kind hot air ballooning adventure tour company, based in a chateau in the Loire Valley and Chateau-d’Oex in Switzerland. During his tenure there, his passion for handcrafted wines with a fingerprint of place was born. Burroughs then moved back to California to attend the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley. During his spare time, he also furthered his passion for the wine industry, working as an educator in tasting rooms across the Napa Valley.
After graduation from the CIA, he moved back to New York to work as a chef at Blue Hill at Stone Barns where his passions for wines continued to grow. After a year at Blue Hill, he decided to return to Napa and make wine his focus where he joined the small team at Lava Vine as the Marketing Director wearing multiple hats, helping to craft an infamous cult following.
In 2012, Blind joined Turnbull Wine Cellars to help reimagine and redefine the brand. During his six and half years there he led the charge to re-focus the brand as a preeminent Napa Valley Cabernet house. He guided them through a complete brand overhaul and remodel and created a premier private tasting program and launched two exclusive wine clubs.
Prior to his current role as Director of Hospitality and Education at Heitz Cellar, Elliott worked as the Lead Sommelier at The Little Nell alongside current Heitz Cellar President & CEO, Carlton McCoy. Erik is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia with a bachelor’s degree of Business Administration.
Elliott joined The Nell’s distinguished team of sommeliers in late 2015, shortly after taking his Level I and Level II exams with the Court of Master Sommeliers passing his Advanced exam in July 2018.
As Director of Hospitality and Education at Heitz Cellar, Elliott works out of Heitz Cellar’s Tasting Salon with a team of five wine educators. In addition to ensuring an outstanding guest experience, Erik will be instrumental in designing the evolution of the wine tasting presentation and education at the salon, which will undergo a renovation in the upcoming months.
About Heitz Cellar
Founded in 1961, Heitz Cellar is a true Napa Valley legend that has helped shape the history of Napa Valley winemaking. Pioneering vintner Joe Heitz ushered in Napa’s modern era with his iconic, globally-celebrated wines—including Napa Valley’s first vineyard-designated Cabernet Sauvignon, the renowned Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard. In 2018, the winery entered an exciting new chapter as the Heitz family passed this rich legacy into the hands of the Lawrence family, whose deep roots in agriculture and commitment to the same core values of fine winemaking made it a perfect match. With Gaylon M. Lawrence, Jr. at the helm, the winery will continue to offer wines in the quintessential Heitz style. Made with an unwavering commitment to quality from organically farmed, 100% Napa Valley fruit, Heitz wines represent the Lawrences’ agrarian roots and commitment to the stewardship of Napa Valley.