Director of Winegrowing
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Freetown, Sierra Leone
After beginning a pre-med program at UC Davis, shifting directions and taking a winemaking internship, Marbue earned his degrees and began his winemaking journey. Marbue’s winemaking career includes work with an impressive selection of Napa and Sonoma’s famed wineries such as J Winery, Cosentino, Benzinger, industry giant, EJ Gallo and, most recently, Caldwell Vineyard. Marbue was named Bonfort’s 2018 U.S. Winemaker of the Year for his modestly sized but impressive portfolio of hand-crafted boutique wines. He contends that the culmination of these experiences led him to Italics Winegrowers where he is artfully crafting small lot, premium wine. He brings an extensive knowledge of Coombsville’ s unique terroir and a reputation for producing a beautiful and a well-balanced portfolio of wines.
Director of Operations
Natalie is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California, a 14-year wine industry veteran and Director of Operations for Italics Winegrowers. Starting her career as a ‘Girl Friday’ at Alpha Omega, she moved on to assist in the opening of Dario Sattui’s Castello di Amorosa. She then served as General Manager at Reynolds Family Winery and that led to becoming one of the original team members of Italics Winegrowers. In her role as Director of Operations, Natalie wears many hats and assists in all areas. She and her fiancé, Mark, live nearby in their hometown, Benicia.
Sales and Hospitality Manager
Maria is a native of Mendoza, Argentina. Her career in the wine industry began amongst some of the most acclaimed wineries of Mendoza. Those experiences led her to pursue her Sommelier Certification. In 2012, after earning her certification, Maria’s curiosity about the world of wine guided her to beautiful Napa Valley. Her desire to expand her wine knowledge has been enhanced by her work experiences at renowned and distinguished wineries such as Castello Di Amorosa and Newton Vineyard. Maria is now a WSET Advance Certificate Candidate. Her roots are firmly established in California as she and her husband (also a sommelier) are raising their family around the vines of Calistoga.
A native of the Napa Valley area, Christian took a detour from studying film and art to explore a different canvas. He fell in love with winegrowing and the process that takes grapes from the vine to the glass. His education began in the cellar where he worked directly with wine in its most raw form and learned from some of Napa Valley’s best. Being surrounded by smart, passionate hardworking members of the wine industry has inspired Christian to continue his education. He is constantly learning and absolutely loves to share with others what he has learned about winegrowing, winemaking, wine pairing and wine enjoyment.
Rudy was raised in Michoacan, Mexico and came to the United States in 1999. He, initially, worked in the vineyards of Napa at a grapevine nursery. In 2003, he transitioned to working in the cellar of a Coombsville winery and he married Hilda Osegueda, a member of our winemaking team. Rudy and Hilda have two sons. Rudy honed his cellar skills while learning from some of Napa’s most renowned winemakers. His expertise led to him being named Cellar Master in 2015, and we welcomed him to the Italics winemaking team in January 2019.
Zamora, Michoacán, MX
Hilda grew up in Michoacan, Mexico and arrived in the United States in 2000. Her vineyard career began in grapevine nursery grafting then moved to the cellar at a Coombsville winery. In 2003 she married Rudy Hernandez, our Cellar Master, and they are now raising two beautiful children together. Hilda returned to working in the cellar at a winery in Rutherford. Her skills led her back to Coombsville where she continued learning the craft of winemaking. Hilda joined the winemaking team at Italics Winegrowers in January 2019.