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…

Jason "Jay" Fernandez

Winemaker

High-quality, upscale wines call for only the most experienced, knowledgeable and talented winemakers. With a degree in Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz and 20 years of experience in winemaking production, we knew we hit the mark enlisting Jay as our winemaker. Jay’s passion for winemaking demands both quality and authenticity at every turn – two of the foundational elements of BOTTAIA’s world-class Italian wines. When he’s not crafting new vintages in the lab, he’s spending time with his Dachshund, Eddie Vedder, and three sons (when his eldest is home from University of California, Los Angeles) or looking for more vintage vinyl Hawaiian jazz records to add to his collection.

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.

Jayna Viereck

Winery Manager

Having worked in the wine industry for 15 years, Jayna is our go-to when it comes to anything wine, and rightfully so; Jayna has attained a bachelors degree in Business Administration from Chapman University, an Advanced Certificate in Wine and Spirits from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust and a Certificate in Wine Business Management from Sonoma State University. You can find Jayna continually improving operations, assisting her associates and enthusiastically discussing her favorite Italian wines with guests.

Juliet Ponte

Tasting Room Supervisor

Juliet started “working” in the wine industry when she was a mere 8 years old, autographing bottles of her namesake sweet wine at Ponte Winery. Later on, she graduated from University of California, San Diego with a degree in Communication and Business and took on the position of Tasting Room Supervisor at BOTTAIA. A natural business woman with a strong aptitude for management, Juliet oversees BOTTAIA’s tasting room associates and ensures guests' experiences are living up to our standards of excellence. In Juliet’s free time, she enjoys traveling, the outdoors and a great glass of wine (of course…).

Lisa Smith

Pool Food & Beverage Manager

Lisa comes from an established background in hospitality, having worked in the restaurant industry for over 30 years. After working at Ponte Winery for two years, she made the transition to BOTTAIA, saying that she “lucked out working for two of the most beautiful wineries in wine country!” A California native, her sunny, vivacious personality makes guests and those who work with her feel both welcomed and special. Her passion and proven track record for providing outstanding service left us with no doubt; we knew Lisa was the perfect fit to take over BOTTAIA’s Pool and Pool Café & Bar. When you visit The Pool at BOTTAIA, Lisa will surely be there to serve you with a friendly smile and warmhearted demeanor.

Sara Jones

Wine Club & Online Store Manager

First and foremost, Sara’s heart lies with people and service, and thus rightfully manages all things “Member” at BOTTAIA. She is responsible for overseeing the fulfillment of Wine Club orders, managing accounts and ensuring Member happiness. She has over 13 years of experience as a Wine Club and Online Store Manager at Ponte Winery, so she’s an essential component to the team at BOTTAIA.  Her bachelor’s degree in Communications and Anthropology from University of Arizona, Tucson backs her passion for travel. On her days off, Sara spends time with her daughter exploring the great outdoors or baking homemade sweets together (her daughter is in charge of taste-testing and Sara is in charge of clean-up). Her favorite part about BOTTAIA? The beautiful, refreshing vineyard views…

Lyvette Johnson

Wine Club & Online Store Supervisor

Like Sara, 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 Assistant 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.

Chelsey Beckley

Marketing Manager

Chelsey oversees all print and digital advertising, social media marketing, graphic design and branded collateral. After receiving a bachelors degree in Communication and a minor in Women, Culture and Development from University of California, Santa Barbara, her love of wine led her to a career in marketing for Ponte Winery in 2015. Naturally, she’s worked her way up to Marketing Manager. Chelsey is our creative mind that crafts the vision of BOTTAIA, ensuring every last detail is designed to enhance the appreciation of the wine from the moment you step in the door. In her free time, you’d likely find her spending quality time with her husband and 4 “fur babies,” or on a plane with a magazine and glass in hand.