100-Point Napa Valley Winery Supports Recent Achievements with Strategic Team Promotions and Organizational Expansion
NAPA VALLEY, Calif. (November 29, 2023) — Following its landmark acquisition of a new estate in Calistoga earlier this year, Memento Mori is proud to announce strategic team promotions that will help support its significant growth trajectory. Renowned for its highly allocated 100-point Cabernet Sauvignon crafted by superstar winemaker Sam Kaplan, the winery has big plans to expand its scope across sales, business development, hospitality, logistics and operations, all of which coincide with key new leadership appointments.
“Memento Mori continues making big, bold moves and we’re fortunate to have such an incredible team in place who can keep pace,” said Hayes Drumwright, Memento Mori Co-Founder. “We have some of the most talented minds in Napa Valley representing our wine and my partners and I are beyond proud of all they have accomplished in helping to grow Memento Mori into what it is today. Investing in this team has been a highlight of our careers.”
Leading Sales & Business Development is the newly promoted Lauren Van Ness, Vice President of Client Relations, previously Memento Mori’s Director of Sales & Hospitality. Lauren’s prior experience as General Manager for ACME Fine Wines in St. Helena and as Maître D’ and Director of Private Events at The French Laundry (and competing as a member of the United States Alpine National Ski Team before that!) provided an unparalleled professional foundation that has helped take Memento Mori’s client base from strength to strength since she started with the winery in 2021.
Joining Lauren is Scott Gray, the newly appointed Private Client Manager, who has been instrumental in representing the Memento Mori label for private clients since joining the team in March. Scott will be the face of Memento Mori on the road, sharing the wines and the story behind them with collectors across the nation.
Travis Retherford, previously Memento Mori’s Client Relations Manager, has been promoted to Estate Manager and Director of Operations. Travis’s broad knowledge base includes expertise in compliance, technical skills, and a deep understanding of wine business operations that has made him an invaluable asset to the team since he came aboard in 2022.
General Manager Genevieve Echavarrie will remain a pivotal figure at Memento Mori, as she has been since joining in 2015. Genevieve has been instrumental in transforming the winery from the dream of three childhood friends into an internationally revered Napa Valley powerhouse. Her visionary leadership and unwavering dedication have been key drivers in establishing Memento Mori as one of the most thrilling labels to watch in the wine collector-sphere, ensuring a cohesive and unified approach to achieving the winery’s ambitious goals.
Among those goals is leveraging the 17-acre Calistoga estate, which Memento Mori acquired earlier this year. A testament to the label’s growing success, Memento Mori Estate features a renovated 1887 farmhouse, a four-acre vineyard, a redwood grove, myriad outdoor entertaining spaces, and a 5,750-square-foot cave built to house fine art. The estate’s pièce de résistance is “Stone Sky,” an interactive piece by legendary artist James Turrell, reflecting the label’s focus on the intersection of art and fine wine.
These team updates and the label’s expansion into a permanent estate home mark a new chapter for Memento Mori as it continues to grow and cement its status as a Napa Valley icon.
About Memento Mori
Since its 2010 founding, Memento Mori has quietly established itself among Napa Valley’s most sought-after labels, known for its inspiring story, superstar winemaker Sam Kaplan, and 100-point Cabernet Sauvignon. Founders Hayes Drumwright, Adriel Lares and Adam Craun are childhood friends who have together overcome serious health scares and tragedy with their unyielding zest for life, making every moment count to its fullest. A symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death, they interpret Memento Mori as “Remember to Live” – an ethos palpable in every bottle.
While Memento Mori wines capture the essence of the famed single-vineyard sites from which they are sourced – Beckstoffer Dr. Crane, Beckstoffer Las Piedras, Vine Hill Ranch, Weitz Vineyard, and Oakville Ranch – the winery’s flagship crown jewel is its Napa Valley designate blend. Kaplan translates each vineyard site into balanced, terroir-driven wines that tell the story of Napa Valley, culminating in wines of intense, concentrated flavor and aromatics that reflect craftsmanship above all else.
In 2023, Memento Mori acquired a sprawling 17-acre estate in Calistoga. Memento Mori Estate features a newly renovated 1887 farmhouse, a four-acre vineyard, a redwood grove, myriad outdoor entertaining spaces, a 5,750-square-foot hydro-heated cave built specifically to house fine art, and “Stone Sky,” a striking interactive piece designed by legendary artist James Turrell.