Sonoma Producer of Terroir-Focused Cabernet Sauvignon Hires Master of Wine and Industry Veteran to Lead Winery’s Next Phase
Sonoma Valley, Calif., May 11, 2022 – Sonoma producer Hamel Family Wines (“Hamel”) is pleased to announce that it has named Geoff Labitzke, Master of Wine, as its first General Manager. Labitzke, one of only 56 Americans to earn a Master of Wine certification, brings authoritative knowledge of fine wine and an extensive, successful track record in the industry to his new role at the winery. Hamel focuses on crafting terroir-driven Cabernet Sauvignon blends through its winemaking practices and its innovative site-specific farming of its estate vineyards in Sonoma Valley and the Moon Mountain District.
“With a wealth of experience and a sophisticated understanding of the world of wine, we see Geoff as the ideal partner and leader to help guide our singular, terroir focus to even greater levels of recognition,” Director of Winegrowing John Hamel said. “He has a deep sales pedigree ranging from the finest wines of the world to some of the best coming out of Sonoma. With our long-term aspiration of being in the conversation in both of these categories, we believe his expertise and insight is perfectly aligned to help us realize our dual aspirations.”
“Hamel is one of Sonoma’s cutting-edge and innovative wineries with an enviable reputation for producing renowned Cabernet Sauvignons that showcase the incredible terroir of its estate vineyards,” Labitzke said. “I am excited to be working with John and his dedicated and terroir-focused team and look forward to helping bring Hamel to new heights with enhanced and broader recognition.”
With more than 40 years of experience in the wine industry, Labitzke brings his background in fine wine marketing, sales, and wine education to Hamel. He most recently served as Director of Sales for Sebastopol’s highly regarded Kistler Vineyards where he directed the wholesale and marketing efforts domestically and internationally. Prior to his role at Kistler, Labitzke was a Corporate Vice President of Fine Wine at Young’s Market Company and Vice President Imports Manager and Director of Education for The Estates Group. In 2006, he earned the Master of Wine, becoming one of just 22 people in the U.S. to hold the prestigious designation at the time.
Labitzke will provide strategic guidance and leadership as well as bring marketing and sales expertise to Hamel as it enters a new phase of growth and continued innovation. As one of Sonoma’s renowned producers of Cabernet Sauvignon, the winery is a leader in biodynamic and dry farming practices. Labitzke will work directly with Director of Winegrowing John Hamel, an accomplished young winemaker, to continue to achieve the winery’s long-term vision of producing the highest quality wines expressive of some of California’s finest vineyards.
About Hamel Family Wines:
Hamel Family Wines is a family-owned and operated winery located in Sonoma Valley, California. Driven by a desire to showcase their exceptional vineyard sites, the Hamel team produces wines expressive of the distinctive and varied characteristics of their Sonoma Valley and Moon Mountain District vineyards’ volcanic terroir through dry farming and biodynamic growing practices. Opened in 2014, Hamel Family Wines was founded by Pamela and George Hamel, Jr.
For more information, please visit www.hamelfamilywines.com.