A love for wine started Dan on a journey that took on a life of its own.
Drinking wine led to learning about wine, to making wine as a home winemaker
and to planting 200 vines in his back yard.
Next came a Winemaker's Certificate from the first UC Davis Distance Learning
program and a growing fondness for Pinot Noir.
He and Ellen fell in love with the Sta. Rita Hills region, purchased a 40 acre parcel and planted a 30 acre vineyard in 2005.
Dan is actively involved in every aspect of growing and making Kessler-Haak wines. In the vineyard, you'll see him on the tractor or working on irrigation.
You'll also find him at Lafond Winery, his second home, helping head winemaker Bruce McGuire with the reds for Lafond and Santa Barbara Winery.
Ellen grew up in a career Navy family and spent her early years traveling between the two coasts, as well as in Japan and the Phillipines.
She graduated from Oregon State University in the days when the Willamette Valley was farming grass seed instead of grapes.
Since 1988 she has helped grow Compulink Business Systems, a medical software developer, from a 2-person operation to the thriving company it is today.
As Director of eLearning, Ellen and her team develop training videos and documentation for thousands of Compulink users in the US and abroad.
During harvest, Ellen is 'the muffin lady', delivering home baked treats to our hardworking crew.
David is responsible for our direct to consumer sales and wholesale accounts.
He has a strong connection to the K-H Vineyard, having spent many hours working alongside the crew growing up.
Stop by our tasting room in Lompoc on the weekends to meet David. Be sure to ask him about the joys of harvest (cleaning barrels & yellow jackets).
David received his Bachelors of Science from Humboldt State University, where he was a 4 year starter, anchoring the HSU Lumberjack football team's offensive line.
Deanna is the creative force behind the K-H labels, marketing materials and web design. She studied art at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and Cal State University Channel Islands where she received her Bachelors of Art.
In addition to her work with the Kessler-Haak brand, Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance and several other wineries, Deanna is a graphic designer at Silverander Communications in Santa Barbara, CA..
As Vineyard Manager, Francisco brings two decades of viticultural experience and a wealth of knowledge to our team.
He has a practical approach to farming, great attention to detail and loves the land as we do.
Our vines, and the resulting wines, have flourished under the watchful care of Francisco and his crew.
You will often see Dan, Francisco and Stan out walking the rows, inspecting them vine by vine.
Stan's vast knowledge of soil and plant nutrition has enabled our once struggling vineyard to shine.
With a focus on building vine health, Stan blends scientific and holistic methods to create balance in the vineyard.
Through this balance, the vines will naturally resist pests and diseases.
Kessler-Haak Vineyard has thrived under Stan's guidance and expertise.