wine barrels lined up in cave

Meet Our Team

Marbue Marke smiling at camera

Marbue Marke

Director of Winegrowing

Freetown, Sierra Leone

[email protected]alicswinegrowers.com

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.

Natalie smiling at camera

Natalie Boltz-Keller

Director of Operations

Benicia, California

[email protected]

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 husband, Mark, live nearby in their hometown, Benicia.

Maria Hom smiling at camera

Maria Hom

Sales and Hospitality Manager

Mendoza, Argentina

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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.

Rudy smiling at camera

Rudolfo “Rudy” Hernandez

Cellar Master

Michoacán, Mexico

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.

Hilda smiling at camera

Hilda Osegueda

Cellar Technician

Michoacán, Mexico

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.