meet our team
second generation of the family, andy started helping his parents with the day-to-day operation of the company in 2013. he is responsible for making sure all the different parts of the business are working together and moving in the right direction.
After studying economics at Colby College in Maine, Andy started his career working in finance for Cambridge Associates in Boston. He then moved to California and worked as a product manager in a small sunglass company in San Luis Obispo, earned his MBA from U.C. Berkeley and spent several years working in strategic planning for Levi Strauss & Company in San Francisco. His love for the central coast and the importance of the family business ended up being the catalyst for joining the team. Outside of work Andy bikes, climbs, smells glasses of red wine & wears puffy vests and old raggedy New Balance shoes to Winemaker dinners, cooks and spends time at home with his wife Carolyn and two year-old daughter Cora (a.k.a. the official wine sniffer).
a scientist by education whose love of the outdoors and the natural world lead him to winemaking. Patrick oversees our winemaking team, makes our wines from Bootjack Ranch and Heart Hill Vineyard and select wines from Jespersen Ranch.
Fresh out of UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Microbiology, Patrick worked his first harvest in 2000 at Orcutt Road Cellars. He spent the next several years working under venerated French winemaker, Christian Roguenant, where he developed a sincere respect for hands-on experience over book-learning when it comes to the art of winemaking. Patrick then headed to Santa Ynez, California, to become the head winemaker for Blackjack Winery where he focused on making small-production lots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay. Patrick joined Niner Wine Estates in 2009 and was promoted to Winemaker in 2013. Outside of Niner, Patrick keeps busy cultivating new pursuits with his wife Heather, their 2 daughters, Kaylinn and Clare, and their Australian Shepherd, Bell. Patrick’s love of surfing has taken him all over the world and he is also an avid river rafter, backpacker and snowboarder.
a grapevine salesman, vineyard manager and enologist whose passion for pinot noir lead her to winemaking. molly makes our pinot noir and chardonnay from Jespersen Ranch.
After an introduction to the world of wine during a study-abroad in the South of France Molly had the bug. She began her education at the University of Minnesota and finished it at Cal Poly with a BS in Fruit Science and a Minor in Wine. In the 20 years since she has methodically worked across several functions within the industry seeking to understand sales, vineyard science and winemaking by doing. In 2014, Molly came to Niner after working at Paul Hobbs Wines, where she was winemaker for the Crossbarn brand. In her spare time Molly enjoys spending time outside, crafting, and enjoying food and wine with family and friends. She lives in San Luis Obispo with her husband Daniel, and son Sawyer.
fourth generation grape farmer from the Napa Valley who visited paso robles and immediately saw its potential. Jason manages all three of our vineyards.
Growing up in rural Napa, Jason began farming at a very young age. “Agriculture, horticulture, viticulture – all I knew is that I wanted to do something where I could work outside on a farm.” Combining "boots on the ground" experience with formal education Jason completed a degree in Horticulture and Fire Science at Solano College while working at various Napa nursuries. He then went on to earn Viticulture and Enology degree at Napa Valley College and become the vineyard manager of Napa’s Flora Springs. He worked under the direction of Pat Garvey, Flora Springs co-founder and vineyard director, until he decided to migrate south to join Niner Wine Estates in early 2011. Jason lives in Paso Robles with his adorable dog, Kayla. Jason is a home-brewer, and has enjoyed this hobby for the last 20 years.
Matt Duggan, Director of Hospitality
He is the second person in his family to work for Niner. After having so many awesome tours and fun at Niner events Matt decided to bring his skills to NWE. He was a little disappointed to find out that the position required working the events instead of just attending them, but liked the staff so much he stuck around.
Matt has worked for several different Santa Barbara County wineries and restaurants holding varied positions as he worked his way up the chain of command. His watershed moment for dedicating his career to the wine business was going to Italy to represent Palmina Winery at a technical symposium on the Nebbiolo grape. Matt figured that if he could get a paid trip to Italy to attend a conference in a language he didn’t speak this was an industry that had great potential. He hasn’t managed to convinced Andy to send him to Bordeaux (he doesn’t speak French either) to represent Niner, but is hoping that he will eventually wear him down. Matt brings over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry and most recently comes from Foley Family Wines where he managed Foley Estates, Two Sisters, Lincourt, and the Foley Food and Wine Society tasting room at the Bacara Resort. When Matt isn’t at Niner he is busy working on his private wine projects; “Grapes of Rap” with famed New York rapper Doug E Fresh, and “Equineox” with Argentinian polo sensation Adolfo Cambiaso.
ALICIA WOOTEN, Wine Club Manager
Often the voice you hear on the other end of the telephone, Alicia manages all correspondence with our wine club members
Alicia has been part of the Niner Wine Estate’s team since the tasting room opened in 2010. At Niner Wine Estates, Alicia plays a vital role in our tasting room team as Wine Club Manager. Alicia earned her Social Sciences Degree from San Jose State University, and then her Multiple Subject Credential from Chapman University. Prior to her experience in the wine industry, she worked in education as a Paso Robles substitute teacher for six years. Alicia lives in Paso Robles with her husband, Brad, and their two children, Jake and Hannah and enjoys spending time with her family on the weekends and loves discovering one new Paso Robles winery each month.
Jaime Keyser-Goodnow, wine club assistant
a central coast native and newcomer to the wine industry, Jaime helps manage our wine club and is always available for a phone call from our members
Jaime attended Morro Bay High School and as a local has always enjoyed the consumer side of the wine industry. Recently she decided that she wanted to make it a part of her daily working life! She is the backbone of our customer service and will likely be the voice you hear on the other end of the phone line. She lives in Paso Robles with her wife Marcy & dog Chloe and enjoys traveling, camping, DIY projects & attending Broadway (and Paso Robles Theatre Co.) Shows.
Teresa Josserand, Tasting Room manager
A burst of vibrant energy wherever she goes, Teresa is responsible for day-to-day operations in our tasting room
Teresa has been with the Niner team since the beginning of 2010. Prior to that, she had experience as both a Holiday Inn Catering Director, and a Catering Assistant at the Hilton. With a background strong in management and hosting food and wine events, it was a natural progression for her to move to the Tasting Room Manager position. At Niner you can find Teresa pouring wine at the tasting room bar, assisting in a cooking class, and creating a welcoming environment for both staff and visitors. Teresa stays busy raising two teenagers, developing healthy recipes, and hiking across the Central Coast
Jay Nickodemus, Tours & Experiences Manager
a wine & plant lover with a knack for hospitality, you can often find Jay behind our tasting room bar or giving tours of the winery & surrounding vineyards
Jay grew up in Idaho making his way through Oregon and Colorado before moving to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly to pursue a degree in Wine & Viticulture. He began working at Niner in early 2013 as a tasting room associate and has recently taken over all of our tours & reserve tastings. When not at the winery you can find Jay driving between San Luis Obispo and LA. The smell of exhaust on the open road mixed with hot asphalt reminds Jay of an over ripe Pinot Noir from the Central Valley. When not breathing Carbon Monoxide, Jay can be found drinking Carbon Dioxide in an ever delicious bottle of Champagne.
SAM MATTHEWS, RESTAURANT & EVENTS MANAGER
a world traveler with a passion for food and wine, sam is responsible for the day to day operations of our restaurant and our special events
Sam’s love of hospitality, food & wine has brought him to all parts of the world. Starting, as he thinks everyone should, at the bottom picking weeds & washing dishes his progression through this industry has become the passion in his life. This passion has taken him to managing different aspects of food & wine programs in New Zealand, Australia, France & now Paso Robles. Sam lives in San Luis Obispo with his wife and two dogs.
Christine Nielsen, Estate Horticulturist
a self-proclaimed gardening geek and lover of anything with leaves or flowers, christine is in charge of planning and planting our estate garden
Christine grew up in Huntington Beach and relocated to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly and pursue her gardening passion. She earned a degree in Environmental Horticultural Science and a minor in Wine & Viticulture. Christine has since moved on to work across both industries, including time in the cellar at Orcutt Road Cellars in Edna Valley and as a vineyard lab technician at Pacific Vineyard. She came to Niner Wine Estates in 2012 to work as a harvest intern, and the rest is history. After moving from the cellar to the tasting room, she has since been promoted to a lead in the tasting room & is now in charge of our garden. More often than not you’ll be able to find Christine in the garden watching things evolve & develop.
Director of Sales, Tucker Spear
With wine running through his veins, tucker’s unparalleled passion for fine wine can be experienced by those that he meets while traveling and promoting Niner Wine Estates.
Tucker inherited his passion for the wine industry at a very young age from his mother, who worked in international wine sales. He attended San Diego State University and graduated with a degree in Applied Design. Tucker’s work in the wine industry began as a sales representative for a wine distributor before spending the next ten years as Regional and National Sales Management positions at Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards and Winery in Healdsburg, and Fantesca Estate and Winery in St. Helena. During his tenure at Fantesca, Tucker assisted in the launch of this fledgling brand, building a distribution network, growing direct sales and exceeding all projected goals. Tucker resides in San Diego with his wife Sarah and two sons, Preston and Parker.