Ryan Hill is the Vice President and Director of Sales for Hill Family Estate. He attended local schools before graduating from Sonoma State University with a degree in Wine Business Strategies. He is very active in the Napa community and currently belongs to Native Sons, Yountville Kiwanis, Yountville Chamber of Commerce and the Next Generation groups. Prior to becoming involved with Hill Family Estate, Hill worked in the hospitality business as a dishwasher, busser, food runner, server and sommelier. Hill has worked at Gordon's, Bouchon, George's at The Cove and Nine Ten restaurants. His love for food and wine developed in the restaurant business and has carried through to Hill Family Estate. Ryan resides in Yountville with his family, where he continues to grow the business while celebrating his family roots of farming in the Napa Valley.
Doug Hill has nearly four decades of experience in the development and management of vineyards in Napa and Sonoma counties. As president of Oak Knoll Farming Corporation, he currently manages over 700 acres of vineyards, cultivating premium cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir and other varietals for notable wineries including Silver Oak, Ramey, and Duckhorn. Doug also farms 120 acres of his own vineyards, much of which is utilized for the wine label he owns and manages alongside his family, Hill Family Estate.
Growing up in Healdsburg on the family farm instilled Doug with work ethic, reverence for nature and a spirit of optimism. After earning a degree in Plant Sciences at Cal State Fresno and traveling extensively in Latin America, Doug returned home to Sonoma County in 1978 to learn the art of vineyard management while employed by Sonoma-Cutrer. After settling in Yountville, Doug managed the extensive holdings of the Jaeger family before starting Oak Knoll Farming. His long tenure in Napa has familiarized him with the Valley's microclimates and soils, enabling him to pioneer new varietals and growing regions; Doug planted the first vineyards in American Canyon and brought the first Albarino to Napa Valley.
As a third generation California farmer, Doug is experienced in finding practical solutions to the challenges that arise in vineyard development projects, and strives to utilize environmentally conscious land management practices.
To learn more about our vineyard management services, please visit: doughillvineyardmanagement.com
Darci moved to Yountville from Southern California in the 1970s. She worked for Don and Sally Schmitt (who later founded "The French Laundry") at Vintage 1870 as a server and assisted with special events. During this time, she joined The Napa Valley Theater Company acting and singing in numerous musicals and dramatic plays for two years. Shortly thereafter, she married Doug and raised their two children, Ryan and Carly, on a small homestead in Yountville. As a passionate gardener, Darci works hard maintaining the aesthetics and landscape at the Hill Family Estate tasting salon. She is often seen with her Bichon (Jack), who is a certified therapy dog that loves to dance for our patrons.
Carly Kanakaris-Hill is a Yountville native, and enjoyed growing up in the Napa Valley. She attended San Diego State University and obtained a bachelors degree in Food and Nutritional Science. She also completed her dietetic internship through the University of Delaware, where she became a Registered Dietitian. Carly currently resides in San Diego with her husband, Alex and two dogs (Duke and Dakota), where she works in Pediatric Sales as a Dietitian and Certified Lactation Educator Counselor. When Carly is not working in Pediatric Sales, she helps with Hill Family Estate wine events in Southern California. When Carly is not advocating lifestyle and policy change, she is traveling internationally for both pleasure and for the family business.
Fate Passmore hails from Atlanta, GA. He completed his B.A. in European History/Business Education at Western Carolina University, where he was also a collegiate tennis player. He also completed his M.A. in American History at UNC a few years later. After two years as a college history instructor, Fate accepted a position as a Food & Beverage Director at Cedar Creek Racquet Club in Cashiers, NC. He continued on this career path over the next few years and accepted a position with Sailfish Point Country Club, relocating his family to Stuart, FL in 2004. Fate moved over to the distribution side of the wine business and joined Premier Beverage in 2008. He quickly began breaking sales records with this large distributor and their many suppliers. Fate is a certified sommelier and loves building successful wine programs. He is the father of 3 children, 2 boys (Ethan and Nate) and a girl (Avery). His wife, Aidene, is from Cape Town, South Africa.
Jean relocated in 2011 from Southern California to Northern California to follow her passion for the wine industry. The first years of her professional career were spent in the restaurant and retail industry, where Jean worked as a Server and Event Coordinator at select fine dining establishments in Orange County. This experience combined with a sales position at Sur la Table, gave her a solid base upon which to expand her knowledge of food and wine at Hill Family Estate. Jean's lifelong passion for gourmet cooking and wine pairing makes her a wonderful fit as our tasting room ambassador, and she has been a member of our Hill Family for almost 6 years. Jean currently resides in Napa, California with her husband and three Boxer dogs.
Born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica, Mariana spent her childhood exploring some of the worlds most beautiful beaches and rain forests. After graduating with a degree in architecture and design she started her own photography and graphic design company, winning awards and being featured multiple times in Costa Ricas largest newspaper. She is fluent in four languages (Spanish, French, Italian, English) and passionate about food, wine and traveling, which led her to Napa Valley where she met her husband, David. In addition to working for Hill Family she continues to pursue her dreams as a professional photographer and designer and always seems to have a smile on her face.
Christie Friday is the Director of Operations for Hill Family Estate. She has over 25 years of experience in the wine business, with her first job working on a bottling line during college. Once she graduated from Sonoma State University, she realized the financial aspect of the wine business was where she wanted to be. She currently resides in Napa with her three boys, Joshua, Elijah and Gabriel.
Jesse Dewyer is the Operations Manager for the farming side of Hill Family Estate. Born and raised in Michigan, the US Navy brought him to Northern California where he has resided since 1994. Jesse has a degree in accounting from Golden Gate University, and a degree in Viticulture from Napa Valley College. Jesse (photographed with is dog, "Scout") has been working with Doug Hill since 2006. Prior to joining Hill Family Estate, he worked in public accounting, construction management, and vineyard management. When Jesse is not working; he is fishing, abalone diving, traveling or spending time with his wife Beth, daughter Larkin and his side-kick Larkin's Lucky Scout.
Jeff Chandler is a long time Napa resident and retired fire captain from the nearby Fairfield Fire Department. He started his relationship with Hill Family Estate as an esteemed member of our wine club who dropped by one day shortly after retiring to pick up some wine and ended up joining our team. He gained numerous years experience in the hospitality field around the Napa Valley before picking up a fire hose. He and his wife Maria have a small vineyard in their backyard and have made a small amount of their own wine for the past 6 years. This is where Jeff has gained hands on experience in wine education that he happily shares with our guests. Jeff has been a part of the Hill Family team for over 4 years.
Macy is the Wine Club Coordinator at Hill Family Estate. Born in Arizona and raised in sunny Southern California, and she made her way to Northern California to play collegiate soccer for Sonoma State University. Her love for wine comes from her parents and her sister, who works for Gallo Wine Company, so it was only fitting that after going to college in wine country she would find her way into the industry. After a weekend visit from her sister and a tasting at Artesa, she walked out with a new job and worked there for 2 years. Her love for wine and athletics joined together at Destination Races, where she worked on their Wine Country Half Marathons all across Northern America before finding her new home at Hill Family Estate. In her free time she loves to travel, be outdoors, cook and spend time with family and friends. Her best friend Barney (the Golden Doodle) tags along everywhere Macy goes, so next time you’re in the tasting room stop by and say hello!
Allison is the Direct to Consumer Manager at Hill Family Estate. She grew up in the south Bay Area where she developed an early appreciation for food and wine, spending many long evenings at the dinner table with her Italian family. She worked in restaurants throughout her college years at UC Davis, where her interest in wine flourished. After graduating she moved to Napa to pursue a career in the wine industry. Prior to Hill Family Estate Allison worked for boutique wineries Elizabeth Spencer and Chiarello Family Vineyards with a focus on direct-to-consumer business development, wine club, hospitality and events. Allison lives in Napa with her husband Kristopher. In her free time, she enjoys running and hiking outdoors, cooking and traveling.
Daniel is a Sales Associate at Hill Family Estate. He was born and bred in Lexington, KY, the Horse Capital of the World and also where the best (and only real) bourbon is produced. Daniel was bitten by the hospitality bug at a very young age working for a family friend’s local restaurant and continued to work within the industry for many years after, developing a life-long passion for food and wine. Upon graduating from Transylvania University, where he was the best runner/team captain on the Cross Country Team, Daniel entered the corporate sales world and spent the subsequent six years of his life losing hair from unnecessary stress. One day, he woke up and realized life is far too short to wallow away inside of a cubicle, so he grabbed the reigns and spontaneously moved to California, quickly finding his West Coast kin and natural habitat within Hill Family Estate. Daniel is excited for this new venture and can’t wait to share his zeal for life and wine with the wonderful guests who visit our tasting room!
Sarah is a Sales Associate at Hill Family Estate. Sarah was born and raised in the Napa Valley, where wine was a part of everyday life. Sarah’s background with events and restaurants opened the door to the wine world for her. Her journey began at a small family-owned winery where she truly fell in love with her home town and the wine industry. She then dove head first into the restaurant scene where she helped open and establish a local pub. There she gained much of her knowledge of the industry. Sarah still had a void that needed to be filled, and although she loved the restaurant industry, her true desire was to be back in the wine world. After many attempts to find a family-rooted winery, she was connected with us at Hill Family Estate. Sarah is beyond excited to be working with our sales team here at Hill, it’s almost like she has been a part of the family the whole time. Sarah is excited to have found a place to call home.