DESCRIBE YOUR SONOMA VALLEY ROOTS?
After growing up in San Francisco, my parents bought a house in Kenwood in 2006. I was living in New York at the time and I hadn’t spent really anytime in wine country prior, but it quickly became my favorite place to spend my vacations. When I met my parents and my brother John at a wine festival in Colorado, they began to explain their initial thoughts for what would become Hamel Family Wines and how they wanted me to be a part of it. After giving it a lot of consideration, I really thought the uniqueness of Sonoma Valley would be the perfect place to build the foundation for what we hope will become a multi-generation wine business. In addition, Sonoma Valley felt like a place I could call home for the rest of my years (which hopefully are plentiful).
WHAT SETS SONOMA VALLEY APART?
Its vibrant past, the historic lineage of many of its vineyards, the geologic heredity, the distinctiveness of the wines, the community, and the rustic landscape.
FAVORITE PLACE ONLY THE LOCALS KNOW?
Don’t know if many people know it but my favorite place in Sonoma Valley is the top of block twelve of our family’s Nun’s Canyon Vineyard where you can see our beautiful Valley, Mount Tam, and on a clear day, San Francisco. In town, The Starling Bar has quickly become my favorite bar in Sonoma Valley. Their cocktail menu is outrageous, and I highly recommend the always dangerous Singapore Sling.
ONE LESSON YOU CHERISH FROM YOUR PARENT’S GENERATION?
ONE OF YOUR GUILTY PLEASURES?
Fixer Upper on HGTV.
WHAT ARE YOU INSPIRED BY?
My family and friends.
A FAVORITE WINE (BESIDES YOUR OWN)?
My favorite winery / wine in Sonoma is Kamen Estate Wines.
WHAT WOULD YOUR LAST MEAL BE?
Chef Corey Lee’s, of San Francisco restaurant Benu, 54 day dry aged beef.
FAVORITE HOLIDAY TRADITION?
Sitting around the Christmas tree on Christmas morning, while opening our presents and joking around, laughing, and wondering how many records my brother Luke will get or how many pieces of hot pink apparel my sister Casey will get that year.
HOPES FOR THE FUTURE?
(Apart from getting through the next four years hopefully relatively unscathed) My hope for our family business’ future is that we work hard and diligently each and every day to ensure our estate wines pay homage to our vineyards’ storied past while also cultivating a new standard for excellence.