Home Industry News Releases Wheeler Farms Introduces New Hospitality Leadership Team 

Wheeler Farms Introduces New Hospitality Leadership Team 

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Local hospitality professionals Philip O’Conor, Tom Harder, and Emily Buller join Wheeler Farms as General Manager, Executive Chef, and Curator of Gardens / Farm Ambassador, respectively

ST HELENA, CALIF. (March 15, 2022): Wheeler Farms, the historic Napa Valley property originally established in the 1800s and recently reimagined by Daphne and Bart Araujo with a state-of-the-art winery and hospitality house, introduces a new leadership team including Philip O’Conor as General Manager, Tom Harder as Executive Chef, and Emily Buller as Curator of Gardens and Farm Ambassador. They join Patrick Memmott, Director of Sales and Brand Ambassador at Wheeler Farms since 2018. 

“We are extremely pleased for Philip, Tom, and Emily to lead our Hospitality House at Wheeler Farms,” said Bart Araujo, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Wheeler Farms. “Their collective enthusiasm for wine and culinary hospitality, experience working with world-class brands from 

Napa, Sonoma and beyond, as well as their education and relevant credentials, will help us raise the bar for our guests at Wheeler Farms.” 

As General Manager, O’Conor brings more than a decade of experience working in the fine wine and hospitality world to Wheeler Farms. Originally from Geneva, Switzerland, he has worked in restaurants, hotels, and wineries in Europe and the U.S., including G & C Lurton Vineyards’ Grand Cru chateaus in Margaux and Pauillac, as well as their Sonoma winery, Trinité Estate, the Greenbrier Inn, and most recently Handwritten Wines and Jessup Cellars in Yountville, where he served as the Director and VP of Marketing and Digital Experience. O’Conor is a Certified Sommelier recognized by the Court of Master Sommeliers and holds a WSET Diploma. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Humanities from the University of Colorado, followed by an MBA from INSEEC Bordeaux International Wine Institute and a certificate in Digital Marketing Strategies from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. 

Harder oversees the culinary program at Wheeler Farms as Executive Chef, developing seasonal pairings to complement tastings of the J.H. Wheeler Wines, in addition to directing private culinary events on property. Born and raised in Sacramento, Harder has worked his way through the ranks of the kitchen at several restaurants in Northern California— most notably Cindy Pawlcyn’s iconic Napa Valley establishment, Mustards Grill, where he spent the past seven years as Executive Sous Chef. Earlier in his career, he gained experience working at the Michelin and Gourmeo-rated restaurant Lotus Root in Belgium, as well as cooking at numerous stages in Europe, and earned his Culinary Arts diploma from Le Cordon Bleu. 

A fifth-generation St. Helena native, Buller serves as the Curator of the Gardens and Farm Ambassador at Wheeler Farms. She founded Small Table Farms after serving as the Pastry Chef for the esteemed Roland Passot’s La Folie in San Francisco. She graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America–Hyde Park with a Culinary Arts and Management degree. 

Wheeler Farms is a diversified expression of Napa Valley’s rich agricultural history. In addition to more than seven acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc planted in 2016, the estate is home to a heritage fruit tree orchard, olive trees, edible gardens, chickens, and bees. The state-of-the-art winery on property offers the J.H. Wheeler winemaking team, as well as other quality-driven wine brands, the opportunity to produce wine using the most advanced technology available. 

Wheeler Farms welcomes guests to the property by reservation for authentic Napa Valley wine and culinary experiences connecting the historical significance of the land with the finest of today’s harvest. For more information about Wheeler Farms, reservations, or to acquire wine, please visit www.wheelerfarms.com or email [email protected]wheelerfarmswine.com.

ABOUT WHEELER FARMS 

Located in Saint Helena, Calif., Wheeler Farms is a historic property featuring a winery, vineyard, hospitality house, and culinary gardens originally established in the late 1800s and reimagined by a group of oenophiles, including Bart and Daphne Araujo, in 2014. Wheeler Farms offers authentic Napa Valley wine and culinary tasting experiences by appointment for its namesake wine brand, in addition to other quality-driven wine brands, all of which are made on-site at the state-of-the-art winery. For more information about Wheeler Farms, reservations, or to acquire wine, please visit www.wheelerfarms.com or email [email protected]wheelerfarmswine.com.

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