Doug and Jane Wolf, Proprietors
Jane and Doug Wolf didn't come to Napa Valley to start a business. They came, like so many others, to enjoy good wine and good company in one of the most beautiful places on earth. That simple joy is what led them to buy their first property here in 1997; it's what lead them to plant the vines and harvest their first crop, to make a small vintage for sharing only among friends and family.
One thing lead to another, and for the following 19 years, winemaking evolved from a small hobby into a true labor of love. Wolf Family Vineyards has remained small and family-owned throughout, never making more than 1000 cases per year, yet still earning high praise for the integrity of its wine.
Wolf Family Vineyards is to this day a small winery grounded in respect for the land, love for family and friends, and the simple pleasure of drinking good wine.
We invite you to share in that pleasure with us.
Mike Hirby, Winemaker
Michael Hirby grew up in a highly creative family that had a deep love of food and cooking. At The Colorado College, while studying Philosophy and Music, he honed these skills, and also developed a serious passion for wine. After graduating with a degree in B.L.A.S. Philosophy of Music, Michael worked as a Sommelier for two years - honing his tasting skills and gaining expertise in the world’s greatest wines - before deciding that winemaking was his true calling. After spending several months exploring the wine country in Spain and France, he made his way to Napa Valley. There he studied winemaking and viticulture at Napa Valley College, and worked in the cellar with Les Behrens for 2 years, until he was hired as the winemaker for Realm Cellars in 2002. Michael has since gone on to make wine for several different ultra-premium wine projects, as well as his own brand Relic Wines, all of which have garnered consistent acclaim. Michael feeds his winemaking and vineyard skills through his insatiable appetite for information. His intimate knowledge of grape flavor development in the vineyard and individualistic, detailed winemaking practices are deeply entrenched within a natural philosophy. He is committed to making the most delicious, complex, fine wines in the world, which tell the story of their vineyard origins. Mike is excited to bring his palate, vision, and sentient adaptability to Wolf Family Vineyards.
Karen Culler, Winemaker Emeritus
Doug and Jane Wolf had just purchased a St. Helena Estate in 1996 and were fortunate to be introduced early on to Karen. The timing was perfect, she had just decided to leave a corporate job at Robert Mondavi's Vichon winery after many years, and create her own wine brand, Culler. Karen's plan also included becoming involved with other premium quality, small production wines. Although the main vineyard replanting was just underway she sensed that this location on the west side of St. Helena was something special.
The Wolf's initial intention in purchasing their original property was not for the winery but as it became clear what the estate was capable of producing, their desire to make an artisan crafted, top quality Cabernet Sauvignon aligned with what Karen knew would be possible and that started the journey of making wine with the Wolf's that would span nearly two decades.
Though now retired and traveling the world, Karen remains an integral part of the Wolf team.
Kate Mahoney, Business and Marketing Manager
After growing up in New York and graduating with a business degree from Fairfield University in Connecticut, Kate made her way West for the sunshine, surf, good food and fabulous wine! Kate has enjoyed many different life paths, from work in corporate America, Mom and soccer coach, catering and personal chef, to landing at a dream job with Wolf Family Vineyards. Working with an amazing team Kate enjoys being part of a small family vineyard, helping to create wonderful wine to enjoy with friends and family!
Suzanne Tate, Hospitality and Marketing
A native Texan, Suzanne fell in love with wine after taking a wine appreciation course during university in Austin. A few years later, while pursuing her other passion and studying the culinary arts at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, she decided to follow her gut and launch into a career in wine and accepted a job that would move her back to Texas.
After nearly five years working in fine wine distribution in Houston, Suzanne had a chance meeting with her now husband, David, at a winemaker's dinner, and well, as the saying goes...the rest was history...
Suzanne made her move to the Napa Valley in May 2010 and very quickly came to call Napa Valley and St. Helena home!
In her role with Wolf Family Vineyards, Suzanne handles all direct and wholesale sales and marketing. If you are headed to the Napa Valley, give her a ring!