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Staff

The Murphy Family

  • Bill Murphy is the CEO and co-founder of Clos LaChance Winery. He runs day-to day management operations in all aspects of the business. He retired in 2000 after 30 years in the high-tech business as Director of Internet Marketing at Hewlett-Packard. His passion for wine was invoked in his formative years after working part-time jobs at the local white-tablecloth restaurant in Lawrence, MA. A move to Northern California created the opportunity to make wine on a hobby level. Clos LaChance was born from this hobby “run amok,” and Bill’s true passion in life has been “unearthed”—to develop a successful family wine business.  Throughout both his careers in technology and the wine industry, Bill has been very active in industry and non-profit advisory boards. He currently resides as Chairman of the Board of Visitors and Fellows at U.C. Davis’ Department of Viticulture & Enology. Email: Bill@clos.com
  • Brenda Murphy’s maiden name (LaChance) was the inspiration for naming the family winery. Brenda graduated from Rivier College with a degree in education. After teaching for nearly 7 years, Brenda raised her two children, Cheryl and Kristin. She is now directing Clos LaChance’s daily operations, including managing the staff, Human Resources, Compliance, Accounts Payable and Insurance. Brenda is also a gourmet cook, and contributes to the e-mail newsletter with recipes; each one paired carefully with Clos LaChance’s wines.   Brenda loves to showcase her namesake wines at local gourmet stores, talking food and wine with other enthusiasts. Email: Brenda@clos.com
  • Cheryl Murphy Durzy is Bill and Brenda’s oldest daughter.  She has been working alongside her parents for over 10 years, having spent the early part of her career in high-tech public relations. Cheryl is responsible for Clos LaChance’s sales throughout all channels, including wholesale, wine club, tasting room and the Internet. In addition, Cheryl manages marketing for the brand and the other business units (Events, CK Vines and Bay Area Bottling).  She sits on several industry boards, including the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association and Free the Grapes. In December 2008, Cheryl took and passed with Merit the Advanced Certificate level of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. She plans to take the Diploma level in the near future. Email: Cheryl@clos.com
  • Kristin Murphy, Bill and Brenda’s youngest daughter, manages the additional Clos LaChance Business Units, including CK Vines, Weddings and Corporate Events, and Bay Area Bottling.  Having built the wineries successful event business from scratch, Kristin has recently taken over management of the new bottling business, Bay Area Bottling. Her customer service skills and attention to detail have been a considerable asset in managing these high-touch pieces of the Clos LaChance “empire.”   Kristin also enjoys spending time in the market calling on accounts and pouring wine at tastings. Email: Kristin@clos.com

Winemaking/Production

  • Stephen Tebb is the Winemaking Consultant for Clos LaChance Winery. Stephen came to Clos LaChance from Artesa Vineyards and Winery in Napa Valley, where he was the assistant winemaker. Stephen has a vast wine background and has spent the past 12 years laying the foundation for his winemaking career. In addition to his five years as assistant winemaker for Artesa Vineyards and Winery, Stephen spent six years with Codorniu, where he worked as enologist, vineyard liaison, lab assistant and cellar worker. While Stephen was with Codorniu the winery transitioned into Artesa, from producing sparkling wine to still wine. Prior to Codorniu, Stephen spent time with Mirrasou Vineyards and Chateau St. Jean. Stephen earned his B.S. in Fermentation Science from University of California, Davis. He currently resides with his wife and daughters in the Napa Valley. In his free time Stephen enjoys skiing and spending time with his family.
  • Jason Robideaux is Clos LaChance’s Winemaker, overseeing all activities that take place on the production floor. These include all wine movements, treatments and adjustments that may take place in the crush pit, tank cellar and/or the barrel cellar as well. Jason also helps manage bottling schedules and supply inventory for CLC products. He joined the  Clos LaChance team just prior to the 2007 crush, after recently returning from the Hunter Valley in Australia’s beautiful Wine Country, where he worked the 2007 Harvest Season as a Vintage Winemaker for Rosemount Estate. Prior to working the 2007 crush in Australia, Jason has worked all over the state including Valley of the Moon Winery in Sonoma and TAZ Vineyards in Templeton, where he focused most of his duties on Lab and Cellar work. Jason attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where he received his degree in Wine and Viticulture emphasizing in Enology.  When Jason is not running in between barrels and climbing in and out of tanks, he enjoys playing and watching sports like Football, Baseball and Golf. Go 49ers! Go Giants! Email: Jason@clos.com
  • Steve Driscoll is the Assistant Winemaker at Clos LaChance. Steve joined the team prior to the 2009 Harvest Season. Steve Graduated with a degree in Wine and Viticulture from the University of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Shortly after graduation Steve spent 2 years roaming the cellar of Edna Valley Vineyards in SLO, in which he helped produce fine Pinot Noir and Chardonnays. After his time at Edna, Steve headed back to his home town of Livermore where he took the position of Cellar Master for Ruby Hill Winery. Ruby Hill is one of the oldest wineries in the Livermore Valley, producing great California Zinfandels and Petite Sirahs. In the winter of 2009 Steve set off for New Zealand to expand his knowledge of winemaking and new world wines. He worked for a large custom crush facility producing well known staples of the industry, like Kim Crawford and Little Penguin. After traveling the world, Steve came back to the Central Coast to find himself here at Clos LaChance. In his short time here Steve has grown within the company and moved up at a rapid pace. His knowledge of the cellar and his passion for producing fine wines is unrivaled, and possibly only matched, by his passion for Metallica and Def Leopard. Email: Steve@clos.com
  • Ulises Barron is the Barrel Master for Clos LaChance. Ulises Joined the Clos LaChance team in the summer of 2005. New to the wine industry, he quickly took a liking to the hard work and rewarding aspect the production of fine wines gives. Ulises has become a staple around the winery and has grown his knowledge of the cellar as well as fine wines themselves. He first came to Cos LaChance not knowing the difference from a red wine and a white, yet now he is well versed in not only the subtle nuances of wines, but an in-depth knowledge of how each wine is produced. In his spare time Ulises loves spending time with his beautiful daughter Nelly and playing soccer with his friends.

Vineyards

  • Ben Scorsur joined Clos LaChance as assistant vineyard manager in June 2000, and was promoted to Vineyard Manager two years later. Ben has held several different positions within the agriculture industry, most recently as spray manager at a 135-acre nursery facility in Hollister and a 1200 acre wine grape operation in Napa. As a former auto mechanic, Ben is also extremely knowledgeable about the inner-workings of trucks, tractors, ATVs etc. Ben received a BS in Crop Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. As a member of the Dean’s List, Ben studied plant pathology, plant improvement, irrigation management, biological pest control, and weed science. Upon the completion of his studies, Ben was recognized as an “Outstanding Crop Science Graduate.” When Ben is not out in the field communing with the vines, he enjoys motorcycles, hiking, watching auto racing (he used to drive in stock car races!), and spending time with his wife Jeannie and his son, Bennie. Email: Ben@clos.com
  • Matt Partridge manages CK Vines, the backyard vineyard installation and maintenance sister company of CLCMatt comes to Clos LaChance armed with a degree in Viticulture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. His passion for the vines and the concept of terrior is deeply rooted—his family has owned a vineyard in Italy for over 25 years. Matt has planned and planted several vineyards in the Central Coast—which then brought him to take a position with CK Vines. As Assistant Vineyard Manager, Matt interfaces directly with CK Vines vineyard owners to determine their viticultural goals. Matt is responsible for working with the Vineyard Manager to develop and implement a plan to meet those goals. He is also the lead manager for all of CK Vines’ new vineyard installations.  Having spent time on the wine making team at Meridian Vineyards, Matt’s palate is well developed—and he is well-educated on what a winemaker likes delivered in terms of quality wine grapes. Email: Matt@clos.com

Office, Tasting Room, Direct Sales and Events

  • Jennifer Hildebrand is Clos LaChance’s Sales and Marketing Assistant Manager. She joined the winery in June of 2010. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and a minor in Graphic Design only a month before joining the team. She is excited to be learning more about the wine industry as well as the involved process of running a small business. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her friends and family playing games and having fun. She strives to stay optimistic and reminds herself to appreciate the little things in life. Email: Jennifer@clos.com
  • Michele Swensen, Clos LaChance’s Wedding Coordinator, came to Clos LaChance via New York in 2004. Having had her own event business for five years back East, Michele was up for the task of assisting Kristin Murphy with the 40+ weddings and numerous corporate events that Clos LaChance hosts on a yearly basis.  Michele enjoys working directly with brides and vendors, ensuring that weddings and other events are executed perfectly. When not working at the winery, Michele loves to go out on dates with her husband Bob, as well as cheering from the sidelines for her two active kids Eric and Michaela. Email: Michele@clos.com
  • Evan Conklin is Clos LaChance’s Full-Charge Bookkeeper. He is responsible for the financial management of the winery and reports directly to the CEO.  Evan came to Clos LaChance as the Accounting Manager at David Bruce Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Having previous winery experience has allowed Evan to gain an immediate grasp on understanding the winery’s business needs. Evan is also very computer-savvy, having spent nearly three years at the Apple Retail Stores in a variety of Specialist functions. Evan graduated from Cal Poly with a BS in Business Administration with concentration in Management of Information Systems.  He also has a minor in Viticulture and Enology and a passion for food and wine, making him a perfect fit for the position at Clos LaChance Winery.  Aside from Evan’s interest in all things wine, he enjoys outdoor activities including but not limited to: running, hiking, Bocce Ball, Vespa-riding, and swimming. Email: Evan@clos.com
  • Roy Froom is the  Tasting Room Supervisor and Estate Sommelier at Clos LaChance Winery. Roy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement Administration from San Jose State University. Upon his return from active duty with the United States Marine Corps in 1970, Roy joined the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. During his thirty-one year career with the Sheriff’s Office, Roy worked a variety of law enforcement assignments and was promoted to sergeant in 1979, lieutenant in 1985 and captain in 1988. While with the Sheriff’s Office Roy attended the FBI National Academy, California’s Law Enforcement Command College and obtained life-time teaching credential. He retired in 2002 and joined Clos LaChance Winery in March 2004. In September 2008, Roy is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Education. He has also started his own wine education business “Time For Wine” and conducts private wine tasting and wine education training throughout Santa Clara County. Email: Roy@clos.com

Wine Club

  • Gina Sanders is the Wine Club Manager for Clos LaChance Wines. Gina, a Morgan Hill native, joined the Clos LaChance team in May of 2010 as a part time Administrative Assistant. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2007 after earning a BA in Communications and minor in Psychology while competing as a Division I Field Hockey player. Since she’s been home she’s balanced multiple part time jobs such as substitute teaching, Tank Patrol with the San Jose Sharks promotions team, and coaching Live Oak Varsity Field Hockey. In the spare time that Gina has, she likes to attend movies, see her friends and dance as often as possible. If you come to the Clos LaChance Time for Wines, you will definitely see her on the dance floor. Email: Gina@clos.com