Growing up in Modesto, California, Robert constantly sets himself apart from expectations. His first job as a research intern at Gallo piqued his interest in fermentation, inspiring him to begin brewing craft IPAs and consider a career as a brew master. Luckily, it wasn’t long before the wine bug bit him and he jumped in with both feet. After securing his Baccalaureate in Enology from Fresno State University, Robert embarked on a wine journey with his first harvest internship at Quintessa in 2006.
Following Quintessa, Robert continued to hone his skills with positions at Seven Stones, Krupp Brothers and Covert Estate, as well as a harvest stop in South Africa at Bon Cap. Over the years, he has worked with an impressive list of mentors and formed lifelong friendships with such winemaking luminaries as Aaron Pott, Julian Fayard and Philippe Melka.
In 2011, Robert accepted the position as Estate Winemaker here at Quixote Winery. It’s his ability to create complex and elegantly refined Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and our signature varietal, Petite Sirah, that truly illustrates his undeniable talent. Robert is continually striving to produce age worthy and well-balanced wines with immediate softness and approachability.
An avid surfer, when Robert is not at the winery, he can often be found taming the waves up and down the California coast.
Philippe Melka, Consulting Winemaker
On a whim, Philippe took a wine course in his final year of study at the University of Bordeaux while completing a geology degree – a moment that changed the trajectory of his life. He began his journey at Château Haut Brion where his passion for Cabernet-based blends and Sauvignon Blanc began and completed a Masters program in Agronomy and Enology. He was intrigued by the relationship between soil and wine quality, a fascination which continues today.
Yearning to learn more, he set out for Napa Valley (Dominus Estate), Western Australia (Chittering Estate), Chianti in Italy (Badia a Coltibuono) and Bordeaux (Château Pétrus) where he divided his time between soil study and winemaking. From the great diversity of terroirs he studied, Napa Valley revealed itself to have the most exciting potential for extraordinary wine.
Trained and influenced by some of the most notable personalities in the wine business, Philippe has devoted the past 25 years to winemaking in Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, Washington state and a few countries overseas. Being named one of the top nine wine consultants in the world by Robert Parker underscores his truly remarkable gift in a career which has only just begun.
Philippe joined Quixote Winery as Consultant Winemaker in 2018, where he works with Estate Winemaker Robert Smith to craft Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Malbec from our 27-acre estate in the Stags Leap District.
Born and raised in Napa, Ryan grew up in the heralded Napa Valley wine country. After growing up amongst the vineyards, he moved to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly. It was there that he developed a true love for wine and food while managing restaurants and he would stay on the Central Coast for 8 years pursuing that passion.
After returning to the Napa Valley, he spent another 3 years managing restaurants, including at The Martini House and the restaurant at the Napa Valley Marriott, before making the jump into the wine industry. For the past 18 years, Ryan has worked at a select number of notable family wineries before joining the Quixote team in 2021.
Food and wine aren’t limited to his professional life as he fills his time enjoying the world class wines, food and entertainment that Napa Valley has to offer with his wife Brooke. Having a passion for traveling, he also enjoys visiting exotic locations and wine regions around the world.
Lynn joined the Quixote team in 2018 after making a life-changing decision to leave her career in advertising and relocate from the beaches of Long Island, New York to Napa Valley. Having always appreciated the beauty, tastes, and delights of wine country, the move allowed her to turn her love and knowledge of wines into her “day job.”
Patty was born in Seattle, Washington and moved to California with her family at a young age. She worked in “corporate America” for 30+ years, but when her team moved to Houston, she decided to pursue other interests which lead her to Napa.
Patty has a love of wine and good conversation…the perfect pairing for an estate host. She joined the Quixote team in 2018 and, as she frequently points out to her guests, she loves taking her “work” home at the end of the day … left over wine beats a brief case any day!
A native of Napa Valley, Kevin was raised amongst the vines, born into a family of vineyard managers and farmers. After receiving his Associate Degree from Santa Rosa Junior College. Kevin left California for North Carolina in 2008 to pursue a degree in Kinesiology and play football for Chowan University.
When Kevin returned to California in 2012, he took his first job in hospitality and sales at Stags Leap Wine Cellars, where his passion for wine ignited. That was followed by stops at other esteemed Napa Valley wineries before joining the Quixote Team in October 2021 as the Assistant Tasting Room Manager.
In the fall of 2021, Kevin returned to school online at Boise State University, where he is pursuing his BA in Business Management. When he is not at the winery or studying, he can often be found on the golf course or spending time with his son Cedric.
Bryden Marshall, Hospitality
Bryden is our youngest team member and has been working at Quixote, supporting the hospitality team, since 2019. Daughter of Estate Host, Patty Marshall, she has learned the ins and outs of wine hospitality under her mom’s watchful gaze. Although working with family can be difficult, somehow, they make it work. Bryden is most often found working in the back of the house making cheese plates, buffing glasses or learning from the production team.
Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Robby started his wine career in the Willamette Valley (OR). After two years of going back and forth from hospitality to production in the cellar, he left Oregon for a harvest internship in Chile.
In 2017, he moved back to the United States, this time to Sonoma County, to do a harvest. Robby joined the Quixote Team in 2018 and is proud to say that 2022 was his 5th vintage here.
Horacio Sanchez, Landscape Manager
Horacio is the longest tenured employee here at Quixote Winery, having joined the team in 2008. In addition to meticulously taking care of all the landscaping on the property, he is an integral part of the production team during harvest. A man of many skills, he is the man we go to when we need something installed, fixed, or built.
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