Our TEAM

As third generation stewards of our family's legacy, we believe in tradition and taking pride in cultivating a business that has been in our family for almost three-quarters of a century. In our pursuit to create a legacy, we began our journey as vintners in the Napa Valley. We honor the traditions of this community with our love and appreciation for the gracious land as well as our spirit of hospitality.

Working closely with our team including Winemaker, Andy Erickson, and Vineyard Manager, Mike Wolf, we are confident in our product which is home-grown here in the Napa Valley. We express the utmost gratitude for being able to share our journey with you as we continue to pursue our vision and write our own story.

Proprietor

Neil Ellman

Neil moved to the United States from South Africa at the age of five. He grew up in South Florida. Upon graduating college from American University in Washington D.C., Neil lived in Arizona, Tennessee, and Los Angeles, working for the family mattress manufacturing business. As a third generation manufacturer, Neil continues to be the creative force behind his family business, overseeing sales and marketing. At one point, that business had him residing in California. It was during this time that Neil developed an affinity for Napa Valley and a desire to be in the wine business. He considers himself fortunate to have been able to marry his passion for business and entrepreneurship with his love of great wine. Neil, his wife, and two children currently reside in Miami, Florida, and spend time at the family estate in Napa Valley ,CA.

 

Proprietor

Lance Ellman

Born in South Africa, Lance was only a baby when the family settled in the United States. After graduating from Syracuse University, Lance entered the family mattress business to work alongside his brother, Neil. Whether he is managing facilities and machinery or crushing grapes, Lance is the operational force behind the success of the family business. Having shared some of the finest wines, Lance knew that one day, there would be an Ellman Family Vineyards that would produce wines from the most distinguished regions in northern California. Lance, his wife, and two children currently reside in Miami, Florida.

Winemaker

Andy Erickson

Andy brings to the winemaking at ELLMAN our shared values of family and friendship. His rich understanding of Napa Valley and his thoughtful approach in the vineyard and cellar, gives our wines and our estate the opportunity to grow into the multi-generational family endeavor we dream of. Andy’s body of work as a winemaker is revered and stands alone in Napa. But it is his respect for his mentors, his eagerness to collaborate with vintners and winegrowers, and his focus on nurturing Napa’s next generation of winemakers that make us proud to call Andy our winemaker and friend.

ASSOCIATE WINEMAKER

PATRICK NYEHOLT

Patrick graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he developed a hands-on approach and learn-by-doing attitude. After an early exposure to viticulture, Patrick shifted his focus to winemaking and gained experience through additional studies with UC Davis and harvest experiences in California, South Africa, and New Zealand. Patrick joined Andy Erickson’s winemaking team in 2011, where he excelled and strengthened his skills through their collaborations. With his immense attention to detail and ability to adapt to different challenges and scenarios, Patrick has made the ELLMAN wines that much better.  

General Manager

Justin Vazquez

Justin's philosophy is simple: Service in itself is an art form, a way of creating a sense of place. With over a decade of experience in the service industry, Justin has honed his skills with top hospitality programs across the country. In 2016, he moved from Florida to Napa Valley to deepen his wine industry knowledge and pursue further education with the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Since joining ELLMAN in 2018, Justin has taken on the role of General Manager. He oversees daily operations, leads strategic planning, and works closely with the trade to build and maintain relationships. His focus on operational efficiency, team leadership, and business development is key to the winery's success.

With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to excellence, Justin ensures every aspect of the winery reflects our vineyard's rich heritage and dedication to quality.

Hospitality Manager

Miguel Gonzalez

Miguel's journey into the world of wine began right in his hometown of Yountville, Napa Valley. With over a decade of experience in sales and hospitality, Miguel has developed a deep understanding of wine education, shaped by his early exposure to the industry through his mother’s 20-year tenure at Stags Leap Wine Cellars.

In 2010, he decided to immerse himself further into the wine industry, combining his professional skills with his passion for viticulture. His extensive experience and genuine enthusiasm make it easy for guests to appreciate the complexities of our wines. Miguel joined ELLMAN with the goal of creating memorable experiences for our guests, ensuring that every visit is both informative and enjoyable.

Miguel looks forward to welcoming both new and returning guests to our future winery, sharing his insights through personalized tastings and tours. His dedication to service and education helps foster a deeper connection to our vineyard, leaving guests with lasting memories and a greater appreciation for our wines.

Estate Manager

Rodney Haskell

Rodney was born in Boston, MA, and moved to South Florida in 1990. He has been with the ELLMAN family for over 15 years in different capacities. Having moved to Napa in 2020, Rodney is our on-site Estate Manager. Working closely with our vineyard and winemaking teams, he wears many different hats managing all aspects of the property. Rodney also curates our sustainable fruit, vegetable, and herb garden that is always flourishing with a variety of healthy fare.