Vintners 2018

More information about the 2018 Boca Bacchanal vintners coming soon.

Miles MacDonnell: Round Pond Estate Winery – Napa, CA


Miles joined Round Pond Estate after a career in auditing with Deloitte. Originally a graduate of Southern Methodist University in psychology and economics, he returned to school in 2005, maintaining his responsibilities at the winery while pursuing his MBA at Boston College. His current role at Round Pond Estate includes heading up viticulture, wine production and wholesale sales. "Ryan and I are incredibly lucky to live and work with our family on family land," says Miles. "Basically, we grew up camping out in these vineyards, exploring the river and riding four-wheelers up and down the valley. AS a family, we enjoyed the farm-to-table lifestyle before it was fashionable. The philosophy is a perfect fit for our company, with its estate winery and olive mill."

Today, Miles lives on the estate with his wife, Katie, and their children, Robbie, Maggie and Ali. Ryan and her family lives across the vineyard and so do their parents – keeping the estate at center of the MacDonnell’s family life.

Robin Akhurst: Swanson Vineyards and Clos Pegase – Napa Valley, CA


Robin Akhurst’s road to Napa took him around the globe, through eight consecutive and exhausting harvests, picking up an impressive list of mentors along the way. He joined the Swanson Vineyards family in 2015, it’s thirtieth year, to lead a super power winemaking team poised to propel Swanson through its next thirty.

A native of Scotland, Akhurst graduated rom the University of Edinburgh with a degree in environmental sciences. What started as a casual interest in wine soon became a passion and following graduation, he took a job as a sommelier in one of Edinburgh’s most forward thinking wine-focused restaurants. Fate then took him to London to work for one of the city’s leading independent wine merchants, gaining additional on-the-floor experience selecting, selling and sampling wines from all over the world.

With a desire to get closer to the agricultural aspects of winegrowing, he moved to New Zealand and received a graduate degree in viticulture and enology from Lincoln University in Christchurch. He worked two harvests in Marlborough before continuing his international winemaking road trip, working at Burgundy’s famed Domaine Leflaive and in Australia’s Barossa Valley with Two Hands Winery.

A fortunate suggestion from Michael Twelftree of Two Hands led Akhurst to accept a harvest position in Napa valley with Thomas Rivers Brown in 2009, working with the team at Outpost Wines on Howell Mountain. Under Thomas’s guidance, he learned to create iconic wines including Schrader Cellars, Maybach and Rivers Marie. Following harvest, Akhurst took a position to direct the production team at Envy Wines, a winery and custom-crush project established by partners Nils Venge and Mark Carter. For four years, Akhurst crafted the Envy wines and worked alongside Mike Smith as assistant winemaker for the highly lauded Carter Cellars wines.

Swanson’s reputation provided sufficient appeal for him to make a move to join the team, stepping in to take the lead winemaking role as Chris Phelps transitioned to a consultant role after twelve years at the winery.

As lead winemaker, Akhurst is directly responsible for winemaking and winery operations, working closely with Assistant Winemaker Tony Herrera, Winemaker Emeritus Chris Phelps and Estate Director Pam Bond along with her vineyard team.

Sean Roney: BR Cohn and Delectus Winery – Napa Valley, CA


Born in the sprawling forests of New Jersey, Roney's family quickly moved west and settled in wine country where he grew up in the wine business. Between his family working in the business and going to school with kids also in the business, there was no escaping.

In high school and college, Roney forged his own path. Volunteering as a student attorney in a local Teen Court program and logging over 400 hours of community service in high school, he ended up working for a non-profit while going to college. He volunteered with at risk teens and volunteered at San Quentin State Penitentiary.

After college, Roney moved back to the east coast and attended Washington College of Law at American University. While at law school, people learned what his family did and how much cooler it is than studying writs of certiorari and comparative negligence. While at school, he was heavily involved with Mock Trial and the school’s Domestic Violence Clinic. The weight of law started to bring him down and he began to get more interested in wine as a way to relax. Roney began to suspect law wasn’t for him.

After graduation, he moved back to California – also the height of the recession. It was his father who asked him to work in the family business, "just for a little while."

As the "little while" became "a while" and now became his career, Roney felt the urge to be involved in law slipping away. He got involved with marketing and sales, getting to see the great land of ours. He found himself enjoying more wine and started doing some international sales as well as getting involved in production. Whether it was racking barrels or digging out tanks, he was hooked and thoroughly loving what he was doing.

Tony Apostalakos: Masi Agricola – Italy


Tony Apostolakos comes from a family with a winemaking background, as they originally woned vineyards in Central Greece dating back to the early 1900s before emigration to Montreal in Canada. Apostalakos earned his degree in Economics at the University of Alberta before entering the wine trade, where he now has over 20 years of experience.

Apostolakos first represented Masi in Canada in 1999 before he switched his attention to the United States market in 2005. He has now been appointed Director of Marketing and Sales in USA for Masi and makes regular trips to the company headquarters in Valpolicella to spend time with the Boscaini family and the Masi Technical Group and ensure he is fully up-to-date with the company’s winemaking techniques and global strategy.

Megan Gunderson Paredes: HALL Wines and Walt Wines – Napa/Sonoma, CA


WALT Winemaker Megan Gunderson Paredes began her career in the Napa Valley in 2001 when she moved from Colorado to California and worked as an intern at Robert Mondavi Winery. While at Mondavi, she discovered a passion for wine and viticulture and went on to become a Laboratory Manager for St. Supery Vineyards in Rutherford, then Dominus Estates in Oakville. At Dominus, she was able to refine her winemaking skills under the mentorship of Christian Moueix and Jean-Claude Barrouet, learning to hone her winemaking craft with unique methods.

Megan has made several trips to France to study wine-making techniques, the most recent to Burgundy. Megan’s multiple degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics have given her a unique and unmatched perspective into the scientific aspects of winemaking.

Tim Duncan: Silver Oak & Twomey Cellars – Napa Valley, CA


It’s not a surprise to spot Tim Duncan out of his car at the end of Silver Oak’s Driveway, unassumingly offering a guest a helping hand shooting a photo. “Some people will only make it here once,” Tim Duncan. “It’s our job to make that one visit a great memory.”

For more than 30 years, Duncan’s humble nature and unrelenting focus on the customer experience have been driving forces behind the culture and success of Silver Oak & Twomey Cellars. Today, along with brother and fellow owner David Duncan, Tim develops business strategy for both wineries and brings his personal passion for building relationships to his role overseeing domestic and international sales.

Tim Duncan’s keep understanding of the customers and accounts that drive Silver Oak’s business thrust him into strategic roles. In 1999, he worked with his father Ray and then-winemaker Daniel Baron to start Twomey Cellars, which originally produced Merlot from vines at the family’s Soda Canyon Ranch – and in 2002 influenced its movement into Pinot Noir production. Duncan ahs spearheaded both wineries’ expansion into international sales. Along with his brother David, Tim Duncan promotes continuous improvement throughout both wineries – a principal that defines the company’s culture.

Tim Duncan lives in Sonoma with his wife Roo. Together they have five children, two of whom (Matt and Haley) have joined the Team at Silver Oak and Twomey.






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