Story Erna Schein
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Erna Schein
B & H
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THE OPERATIVES

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THE OPERATIVES

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Schatzi Throckmorton came to work for us in 2000. As Bob edged towards retirement, Schatzi took over the business management of Behrens & Hitchcock. The winery General Manager since 2004, she now runs the show at Behrens Family Winery and also has her own label, Relic Wine Cellars, with her husband, Michael Hirby.

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Robin Cooper worked for us first in 2003 as our harvest intern, and after that life-changing experience decided to relocate from New York to St. Helena. Once here, she went on to work for a number of other small wineries, but we were ecstatic to be able to woo her back in 2006 to take over as our Director of Hospitality & Customer Relations. She is in charge of all tastings for the winery. Robin is best reached at robin@behrensfamilywinery.com

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Les Behrens wore many hats prior to donning his floppy winemakers chapeau. One of his early career moves was digging graves in the cemeteries of Los Angeles and Eureka. As a skilled and imaginative woodworker, he spent many years building hot tubs, decks and cabinets, where he became known as “The Wood Wizard”. It was his stint as a restauranteur that led to an obsession with wine and the pursuit of winemaking. Les has been the Winemaker at Behrens & Hitchcock since its inception and continues the adventure with Behrens Family Winery.

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Lisa Drinkward started working at the Vineyard Wine and Cheese Deli in Southern California at the age of 16. This set the course for a career in food and wine. Working in restaurants throughout college led to Lisa’s desire for her own restaurant, which became a reality when Lisa and Les opened Folie Douce in 1991. Upon moving to St Helena, Lisa took viticulture courses at the Napa Valley College and is now the vineyard liason, spending much of harvest roaming the vineyards and eating a lot of grapes. In her spare time, Lisa makes a Napa Cab of her own - Drinkward Peschon - with friend and fellow winemaker Francoise Peschon.

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Sean Behrens, Les' son, helped build the winery on Spring Mountain back in 1998, but only joined the winery production staff in 2011 after working as a contractor in the Napa Valley for over a decade. He is learning the family craft from the ground up and applying his construction skills to our endless list of winery improvement projects.

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Sarah Parker recently joined us as our Office Coordinator in the Fall of 2013. Having grown up here in St. Helena in a winemaking family, she enjoys all aspects of the winery life and is the enthusiastic voice that most people hear when calling the winery. Sarah also enjoys active community service and is a Planning Commissioner in St. Helena, putting to use a law degree she earned in 2008 in Boston.

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Bob Nenow is our brother-in-law, friend and most enthusiastic harvest helper. He also makes a small amount of wine at our facility under his own label. If you would like to learn more about his venture, check out Robert Nenow Winery.

Mark Porembski, our former Assistant Winemaker, remains part of our extended family and continues to produce wines under his own label, Zeitgeist Cellars, at the winery.

Although Bob and Lily are enjoying retirement, we continue to operate B&H with them, making two wines each year, which allows them to keep their teeth purple. After thirteen years of a very successful partnership, we are friends and business partners and will always see Bob as our chief financial advisor.

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