Hossein Namdar came to California in 1978 and went to school at USF in San Francisco and obtained a degree in Theology and Philosophy. In 1982 he was hired by Moet Chandon (Domain Chandon) in Yountville, California where he became a vineyard technician specializing in grafting. After three years, he was transferred to work at their cellar.
At the same time he attended UC Davis. In 1986 he became partners with Domaine Chandon whose CEO at that time was John Wright. They purchased a 214 acre vineyard on Lakeville Highway in an area now known as Petaluma Gap. The newest AVA in the US. By 1995, ninety acres of Pinot Noir grapes were planted with Dijon clones.
In 2005 they bottled their first vintage under the label “Robert Goyette” who was also his partner and joint winemaker. They worked together as team and combining their expertise they started Stephen Vincent Wines and Robert Goyette brands.
In 2014 the two brands where sold and in 2017 they launched a new brand called Avid. Over the years of growing Pinot Noir and making Pinot Noir Wine from Avid Vineyard they have come to realization that the style that represents our ethos of winemaking for the past twenty years is to appreciate what California’s terroir contributes to Pinot Noir, and combined with Burgundian winemaking practices.
Bob's winemaking ability is better described as an innate sense than a technical skill. If there are ‘green thumbs' in gardening, then Bob has a ‘purple thumb' when it comes to making wine. This natural sense revealed itself many years ago when Bob was part of the start of the boutique winery movement in California.
The ‘boutique' wineries were the small wineries that were intent on making wines that pushed past the ‘functional beverage' that had been made up to that point. They were wineries like Ridge, Monterey Peninsula, Calera, La Creama Vinera, and Kistler. All of these wineries distinguished themselves by making small lots, vineyard designated, and by using traditional French techniques, which were innovative at the time.
Bob was one of the founders of La Crema Vinera. This winery could be characterized as contributing to the California boutique winery movement by bringing Burgundian methods to California and Californian wine-afficionados in a gonzo kind of way. Unfortunately the winery met its financial demise, but the name has carried on (now owned by Kendall-Jackson) because it represents the quest for quality that was the love of these pioneers.
After La Crema, Bob contributed to the winemaking effort at Chalk Hill Winery, followed by the Benziger Family winery. It is at Benziger that he hit his stride again. And it was there that he helped develop--along with his friend and fellow winemaker, Bruce Rector--the Imagery Series.
Imagery Series was a refuge of terroir winemaking. Because the Benzigers were making Glen Ellen at the time, and because that program had grown to gigantic proportions (which was not the original intent of Mike Benziger and Bruce, but was the Midas touch of Bruno Benziger) Bob and Bruce felt that the Imagery Series needed to be created for three reasons: 1- To avoid pigeon-holing of Glen Ellen's winemaking abilities. 2- To give the winemaking staff a venue to express themselves on the micro scale, because they all had small winery backgrounds. 3- To keep the jewel-like lots of grapes that were to be found throughout the state from being ‘blended away'.
As the lead red-wine maker, Bob was responsible for the elevation and success of the Imagery Series, and won more than his share of gold medals, best of class, and best of show awards. And in retrospect, Bob, with his charming way of being and making wine, was able to re-capture the spirit of the California boutique era.
Alberto Lataliste is a Bilingual Senior Sales executive expert with over 18 years of experience in luxury wine sales and the restaurant business in the US.
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he moved to the US in 2001 where he co-founded Gaucho Imports, a premium wine import business based in San Francisco, CA. He developed an Argentine, California, Spanish & Chilean wine portfolio with his partner and subsequently imported the wines into the US market.
He then placed the wines into distribution working with distributors throughout the US and developed different sales and marketing programs to bring the wines into market.
He also developed private label & control brands for national key accounts & distributors. Also he was responsible for all aspects of distribution management, including the setting and monitoring of pricing levels, programming, allocations, inventory par levels, logistics, and shipment & depletion goals for all markets & states.
In 2012 he moved to Miami, FL where he started working for Blends Inc, part for Alejandro Bulgheroni Estates as the Director of South American Brands and also as the U.S. Southeast Manager being in charge of MD, DC, VA, GA, NC, SC, & FL.
At the end of last year he decided to move back to his beloved Marin County in California. He now lives in Novato, CA and is the National Sales Manager for Avid and Acoya wines.