Inspired by a small family property in the South of France, La Pitchoune means “the little one.” The name speaks to small production, small lots, and the idea that our small size is our greatest asset. At La Pitchoune, we prize the special care we can apply to our craft. By combining passion, art, and science, we ensure that each blend is expressed to its fullest potential.
Andrew Berge - Master Winemaker, Partner
An artist, scientist, farmer, gourmet chef, mountain climber and winemaker is what best describes the person behind the La Pitchoune wines. What makes Andrew so special is his understanding of the geography, soil, vines and the fruit that end up being the foundation of the wines created. With a Masters degree in Agriculture, Andrew is more than a winemaker. His ability to comprehend, care and tend for the fruit as it matures on the vines allows him to have full control of the grapes long before they arrive at the winery and the actual winemaking begins. This is what makes him stand head and shoulders above the rest. Balance and terroir are words that are too often thrown around for the sake of marketing, but for Andrew they are part of his quest to change the perception of California wines. La Pitchoune is his vehicle and the sharp end of the stick intended to demonstrate what a hand-crafted terroir-driven California wine can be.
Tracy Nielsen - Founder, Winemaker
Originating from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Tracy’s adventurous spirit and infectious personality is ever-present in everything she does. Growing up as a raft-guide on the fiercest rivers of Colorado, she is not one to ever back down from a challenge. "No" or "impossible" are simply not words in her vocabulary and they serve as the inspiration and foundation for the creation of La Pitchoune.
After five-years of trying to break into the wine industry and repeatedly being told no, Tracy decided to make her vision a reality by starting La Pitchoune. It’s this very spirit that now guides everything we do at La Pitchoune. Nothing is impossible and dreams are always welcome here.
Brett Van Emst - Chief Marketing Officer, Partner
Brett has made it his mission in life seek out the interesting and odd, the nuances of human endeavors that are often overlooked. He has launched his own cultural review magazine, wrestled with mainsails while racing in a 41-foot Sydney sailboat, is a published writer of fiction and poetry, is able to do thin-coat plaster, has been to 49 of the 50 states and doesn’t understand how magnets can possibly be real. Home has been Beaver Island (too removed), London (too far), Boston (too cold), New York City (no space to garden), Chicago (really too cold!) and San Francisco (Sausalito, actually). Home is now Napa Valley (perfect!) with plenty of space to garden with his wife and 2 children. It is this constant archaeological dig into the cultural arts that makes Brett one of the best marketing minds in the business – at least that’s what he tells his tax guy.
Peter Joachim Nielsen
In 2020, we lost our founder and friend, Peter, to cancer. He was the guiding light for our winery and we started this journey together. He refused to ever accept anything less than the best. He applied this to life in general, and inspired those around him to do the same. If you knew Peter (or "Pedro" as many friends called him) you know how lucky you were to have met him. We have a giant hole in our hearts right now, but as so many others have told us, we are happy to be among those were able to know him. Many of you met him pouring wine at our tastings. He was always quick to make you part of the family, offering friendship and love (and wine) to all he met. We are proud to have known him, and we will miss him terribly.
George - The Winery Dog
George (full name: King George of Green Valley) is the La Pitchoune winery dog. He was born on July 21st, 2014 in West Sonoma County, surrounded by pastures, vineyards and wineries. George was destined to roam the vineyards and cool barrel rooms of La Pitchoune. In his spare time George likes to sleep, eat, chew corks, eat, play with his girlfriend Lu, and greet our visitors. His favorite foods include carrots, apples and bananas.
At only 3 months old, George started his own Instagram account. You can follow him and his adventures at instagram.com/georgethewinerydog