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John & Joyce Peterson, Owners, Peterson Family Vineyard
John grew up on the land which now hosts the Peterson Family Vineyard and is the exclusive fruit source for Switchback Ridge wines. Now retired, John, together with Joyce, helps manage the property. When they are not tending to their large vegetable garden, they enjoy spending time with friends and family, which includes 14 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. They also enjoy spending time up north hunting, fishing and exploring the countryside in their RV.
Kelly Peterson, Founder/Managing Partner
Kelly founded Switchback Ridge in 1999 with the dream of continuing her family’s legacy that began with her great-grandparents over 100 years ago. She is responsible for all aspects of the business, including sales, marketing and hospitality functions.
Kelly grew up in Calistoga and spent most of her childhood on the family’s vineyard, which included picking prunes and grapes at a very young age. After spending 13 years at a local winery overseeing direct sales, hospitality, special events and corporate dining programs, Kelly left to concentrate full time on the business she built from the ground up.
Kelly takes great pride in what she and the three generations before her have accomplished and is thankful for the opportunity to continue a family legacy of hard working farmers, grape growers, and now, wine producers. Above all she is most proud of her daughter, Ashley, who joined the company in 2015 and her son, Devon, who is currently studying viticulture and enology. With the future of Switchback Ridge in good hands, she looks forward to focusing on her most recent and cherished role as “Mimi” to her granddaughters, Ava and Eliza, the sixth generation already in training!
When not traveling across the country making new wine-loving friends, Kelly likes to hang out at home with her husband, Ray, and their rescue dog, Sonny. Kelly is also very active in her community and sits on the board of the Calistoga WineGrowers Association to collectively promote the incredibly special place she’s been so blessed to be born and raised.
Ray Holmes, Partner/CFO
Ray is responsible for all financial, accounting and compliance functions. He does this as his early morning, late night and weekend job–always doing more than his part to keep the family business thriving. In his day job, he currently serves as the CFO for Upper Valley Disposal and Recycling. Previously, he held long-standing controllership positions at Marin Sanitary Service and Waste Management, Inc. Ray graduated from University of California at Santa Barbara with a BA in Business Economics.
Ashley Peterson, Partner/Sales & Marketing
Ashley is responsible for all sales and marketing aspects of the business. She manages global wine distribution, and all marketing activity including social media and events.
Ashley spent a good deal of her childhood on her family’s vineyard, or “ranch”, riding four-wheelers with her cousins, and is honored to have come full circle as the fifth generation In the business!
Prior to coming on board, Ashley worked In various sales and marketing capacities for a tech company based In San Francisco. She specialized In big box retail, bringing new products to market In the consumer electronics space. She has a wide range of experience developing and executing marketing programs, including premium merchandising experiences, specialty training programs and consumer events.
Ashley graduated from St. Mary’s College In Moraga with a BA In Business Economics.
Pierson Ryan, Certified Sommelier, CMS / National Sales
Pierson is the newest member of the team and oversees our national sales and private client experiences. He is also a Level Two Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Pierson’s experience in the food and wine industry dates back to his childhood. His grandmother operated a white tablecloth Italian restaurant out of her home for 40 years, and his father was a renowned restaurant consultant for 30+ years. Prior to joining the team, Pierson worked for a Fine Wine Distributor in the Los Angeles market. It was during this time that he fell in love with Switchback Ridge Petite Sirah, and he’s been a family friend ever since! He is blessed with his beautiful wife Erika, and two boys, Hudson and Ridge.
Thomas Rivers-Brown, Winemaker
Thomas grew up in Sumter, South Carolina, developing an interest in wine while attending the University of Virginia. After graduating, he moved to the Napa Valley and began working at a wine shop in Calistoga where he continued to immerse himself in the wine world. In 1997 he landed his first winemaking job at Turley Cellars which marked the beginning of his illustrious career. He has since become one of the most influential winemakers in the country. He was Food & Wine Magazine’s “Winemaker of the Year” in 2010 and has earned more than twenty-five 100-point scores from Robert Parker and Wine Spectator combined. Thomas is the talent behind some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious wine projects, including his own Rivers-Marie. He is known for his high-end Cabernets and takes a minimalist approach to winemaking allowing a vineyard’s unique terroir to shine. We are thrilled to be working with this superstar winemaker, fellow Calistogan, and all around great guy. The future of Switchback Ridge is in great hands!
Hardin Clark Vineyard Management, Vineyard Managers
Matt Hardin and Josh Clark both grew up in St. Helena and attended CalPoly University in San Luis Obispo. Matt started Hardin Vineyard Management in 2020 after working at Barbour Vineyard Management for over a decade. Josh took over his family’s forty-year-old business, Clark Vineyard Management, in 2000 and has spent the last two decades growing and diversifying their business. Matt and Josh joined forces in 2021 to form Hardin-Clark Vineyard Management and together manage some of the most revered vineyards in the Napa Valley. Their vineyard team is among the best the valley has to offer, committed to maximizing the true potential of every vineyard site they manage.
Devon Holmes, Brand Ambassador
Devon is currently in school studying viticulture and enology. In between his busy class schedule, he works as a “jack -of-all-trades” for Switchback — hosting tastings, making wine deliveries, assisting with harvest, and more. Devon has grown up in the industry and represents the fifth generation in the family business. He has a great appreciation for family, food, and wine, and can be found gaming or teaching chess to his nieces in his spare time.
Sonny, Winery Mascot
Ledson, aka “Sonny”, joined our family on July 13, 2017. He was rescued from a Sonoma County shelter and has been rescuing us ever since! He is an incredibly sweet and mellow dog, but also shows his stubborn Shih Tzu side. He loves his daily walk and is always eager to be the first one to welcome guests. Share with him a treat or two and he will be your new best friend!
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