' Napa Valley College - Alumni Hall of Fame
Sign In
  Always Remember Me
      On This Computer

Forgot your username or password?
Click Here.


  |  Check Out
Alumni Hall of Fame
Home  | 

Alumni Hall of Fame

Since 1984, the Napa Valley College Viticulture & Winery Technology program has been helping to cultivate a strong wine industry in Napa Valley. With the passing of our 30th anniversary, we want to recognize alumni who have distinguished themselves through exceptional advancement and success in education or career, and/or outstanding contributions to our community and society in general. 

Nicki Pruss
Winemaker, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Certificate in Viticulture and Winery Technology from Napa Valley College, a B.A. in Biological Sciences from UC Santa Barbara, and a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine – Cum Laude from the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, Chicago, IL.  She is a member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture, the California Enological Research Association, and the Napa Valley Wine Technical Group. She was also a past Board member of the NVWTG.

Tom Meadowcroft
Winemaker, Meadowcroft Wines

His passion for wine continued as he worked at wineries in both Washington and the Napa Valley.  He took numerous extension courses from U.C. Davis and graduated from Napa College with an Associate of Science degree in Winery Technology and Viticulture. He became a vineyard manager focused on sustainable farming and environmental advocacy.

 Steve Devitt
Winermaker, Darioush

Steve manages all winemaking and viticulture activities at Darioush. His understanding of microclimates, the local soils and the wines they produce enable him to create estate wines that best express the character of each individual vineyard. As a winegrower, he believes that the best winemaking begins in the vineyards. Steve personally manages the estate's extensive new vineyard developments and all aspects of the estate's wine production.

Norma Poole
Instructor at Napa Valley College VWT Department 

 Norma Poole has a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University which came in handy for crafting wine. It all went uphill after that. Norma was general manager and sommelier for high-end restaurants in Las Vegas; Food & Beverage Instructor for MGM Grand's University; and has worked in prestigious wineries in the Napa Valley such as Cakebread Cellars, Cardinale and Cuvaison. Norma holds a degree in Viticulture and Enology from Napa Valley College, is a Certified Sommelier, Court of Master Sommeliers, and holds an Advanced Certificate from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. Norma has been teaching wine courses for over 15 years and is currently an instructor at Napa Valley College's Viticulture and Winery Technology Program. Norma also conducts private wine classes in sensory evaluation, wine and spirits.

Rob Sweeney
Proprietor, Vine Cliff Winery

From the vine to the bottle, the winegrowing and winemaking at Vine Cliff Winery comes under the watchful and caring eye of Rob Sweeney. He is involved in making every vintage and varietal produced here, bringing a hands-on style and familiarity with the estate that insure that we always meet our singular mandate - to produce the best possible wine every vintage. 

Sal Godinez
 Winemaker Vine Hill Winery

Sal is a true success story.  English was his second language. Born in the small mountain town of Zamora outside of Michoacan, Mexico, Sal first came to California in 1980 as a teenager, to help his brother pick crops. He went from a grape picker to one of the best winemakers in the industry.  Quote from Dr. Krebs – He was a great student, studied hard, and graduated from the NVC Viticulture program.  He then went on to be the Cellar Master at Saintsbury and is now the head Winemaker at Vine Hill Winery.

  • James Regan – Walsh Vineyard Management
  • Mike & Francisco Nunez – Vineyard Management Company
  • Mike Cybulski – Vineyard Manager: Robert Mondavi, Pine Ridge, and Premier Pacific Vineyards
  • Pam Bond – Vineyard Manager, Swanson Vineyards
  • Dyson & Susan Demara – Director of Public Affairs for Robert Mondavi, Hillcrest Vineyard, and now winery owners
  • Dana Estensen – Director Napa Valley Farm Bureau
  • Dick & Edie Engelhad – Finca Encantada
  • Elizabeth Forster – Grower Relations Diago Group & Etude Winery
  • Tom Fotinos – Fotinos Brothers Winery
  • Ross H. Hall – Vineyard and Estate Manager, Swanson
  • Mitch Hawkins – General Manager, Hawk and Horse Vineyards
  • Andrew Lenen – Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, Trinchero
  • Ed Larmine – Director of Sales and Marketing, World Cooperage
  • Sandy Mays – Sales Coordinator, Sunridege Nurseries
  • Scott R. Macindoe, Macindoe Family Cellars, Oregon
  • Ramona Nicholson, Nicholson Ranch, Sonoma CA
  • David Straley – Viticulture & Enology Program Chair, AK Tech University
  • Margo Treweek – Trinchero Wine Educator Manager

Past Professors       

Bryan Avila

Bryan holds a bachelor of science in Fermentation Science from the University of California at Davis. Following his passion for the technical aspects of winemaking he landed a job at E&J Gallo Winery in Modesto where he worked as their Research Winemaker. Over 1,000 experimental fermentations later and after leading the design, construction and start-up of the Livingston Pilot Winery he moved his family to the North Coast to become the Consulting Enologist for Vinquiry, in Windsor. With a strong interest in working with people and helping them find solutions to technical problems he became an independent Winemaking Consultant and Technical Advisor for a number of start-up companies including Phyterra yeast. 

Dr. Stephen Krebs

Now retired, Dr. Krebs ran the Viticulture and Winery Technology program at Napa Valley College for 30 years. As part of his duties, he taught viticulture classes and managed the student vineyard. He holds a doctorate, master of science and bachelor of science from the University of California at Davis, all focusing on viticulture. He has also served as viticulturist and manager for Sunny Slope Ranch in Glen Ellen, Matanzas Creek Winery in Santa Rosa, and Mayacamas Vineyards in Napa. Stephen performed field research on grape varieties in Europe and California for author Jancis Robinson’s book Vines, Grapes and Wine. He now runs a vineyard consulting service. More information can be found at www.drgrapes.com.

Tom Muscatine

Tom Muscatine has been working under Dr. Stephen Kreb's for seven years as an Assistant Vineyard Manager and Instructional Assistant. As Stephen started moving toward retirement, Tom began taking on more responsibilities and is currently an adjunct instructor and the Vineyard Manager. In addition, Tom is the Vigneron for Muscatine Vineyard, a boutique winery in the east hills of Napa Valley.

2019 Copyright Napa Valley College, Napa CA
Powered by vinSUITE