Claudio Ponte

Managing Partner

A graduate of University of California, Los Angeles' business school, Claudio has served on the boards of Winegrowers of California, California Association of Wine Grape Growers, the Wine Institute and the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association. Claudio’s love for Italian wines and unique experiences led him to establish BOTTAIA Winery. After watching the growth of Temecula Wine Country become more and more lively and boisterous over the years, he recognized the need for a winery offering high-quality wines in a relaxing environment. Years of planning to make his vision a reality have finally culminated to the wine country oasis you can experience today. Needless to say, he can’t wait to share it with you…

Arnaud Debons, Winemaker

Arnaud Debons


Arnaud Debons worked as a Winemaker in the Bordeaux and Cahors, regions of France after graduating from the prestigious National Winemaking Program at the University of Toulouse Paul Sabatier in France.

He brings constant energy and commitment to his job. Extremely passionate about the art of fermenting grapes and blending wine in the cellar; he also particularly enjoys spending time in the vineyards cultivating the best grapes from our Temecula terroir. 

When he is not making wine, you will find him running from gymnastics, tutu class, football practice, and piano rehearsals with his wonderful trilingual daughter Ixela. In his free time, Arnaud loves to travel, play “football”, tennis, surf, snowboard, and more than anything else raise his daughter together with his wife Mariela.

Lyvette Johnson

Wine Club & Online Store Manager

 Lyvette oversees everything Wine Club, and if you’ve given us a call, you’ve likely heard her warm, welcoming voice. A Michigan native, she received her bachelors degree in Hospitality & Hotel Management, spending the first part of her career working in the hotel industry before working at Ponte Winery as the Wine Club Manager. Lyvette’s education, experience and exceptional character left us with no questions – we knew she was a perfect match for the refined elegance that BOTTAIA exemplifies. When she’s not in the office, she spends her time working out (Zumba is her class of choice), traveling and experiencing the beauty of wine country.

Don Crank III

Consulting Winemaker

In his own words, Don is a “scientist by training and a passionate winemaker.” After graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Biochemistry and Food Science, he discovered his love of wine. With more than 16 years of experience in the winemaking world, Don considers winemaking to be an art, each wine a culmination and an expression of the place in which it was grown.