Team

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Claude and Katherine Blankiet: Proprietor Vintners

Known as the man who introduced stonewashing to America, Claude grew up in France with a family deeply rooted in the textile industry. His grandfather invented weaving looms and his father owned factories manufacturing military uniforms before World War II.

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After a law education, Claude joined the family textile business and in the mid-seventies moved to the United States. Within a few years, Claude created one of the largest denim finishing facilities in the world.

Katherine has deep family roots in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her great-grandfather was Sheriff and Mayor of Santa Fe in the early 1900s. Katherine graduated from the University of Texas and her keen eye for things of beauty led her to a career in antiques.

Claude met Katherine in her antique store and they have been married for 35 years. They are both passionate collectors, love all things from earth and nature and are devoted to their Paradise Hills Vineyard.

Graeme MacDonald: Winemaker

Graeme MacDonald is a fourth generation Napa Valley wine grower who resides on his family property within the famous To Kalon Vineyard. He studied Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis before founding MACDONALD in 2010, where he serves as winemaker and vineyard manager. Robert Mondavi used to refer to his family as “the best grape-growers in the Napa Valley,” a commitment that resonates today.

George Avina: Vineyard Manager

George is one of those blessed individuals who has a soulful connection to their work. He truly loves what he does. He is at peace when he walks the vineyards and the vines are his friends and surrogate family: he talks to them and cares for them. George was trained by viticulturist David Abreu for many years and has been tending the Paradise Hills Vineyards exclusively for almost a decade. Nothing goes unnoticed by George.

Patrick Walters: Hospitality Manager

Patrick, Katherine’s nephew, came to the Napa Valley from Austin, Texas to help during harvest in 2005… and never left. He apprenticed in the winery under Helen Turley, Martha McClellan & Denis Malbec. Patrick is charming, loves people and has been hosting visits at the estate for many years.

Linda DeWeese: Customer Relations Manager

For over thirty years, Linda has worked for Claude and Katherine, first as an accountant in the textile company, then with Blankiet Estate since its inception. She is our Customer Relations Manager with the friendly voice.

Julie Jones: Administrative Assistant

Julie is the Administrative Assistant for Claude and Katherine and the go-to-person for anything and everything.

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