THE N2 TEAM
Jim Neal - Proprietor | Winemaker | Product Development
Jim has spent his career in the food and wine industries, and is one of the original pioneers of the wine on tap concept in the United States. Before launching N2 Wines in 2005, Jim worked at the original Spago in Los Angeles and moved to St. Helena in the Napa Valley in 1988 to work at Terra Restaurant and quickly became involved in the wine industry. He spent years hanging out in the cellars of Stony Hill and Caymus and as a vineyard laborer for David Abreu Vineyard Management. He started his brand "Chariot" with the help of Chuck Wagner in 2000, and now produces red and white table wines known as "Gypsy" and “Chateau Big Top.” In addition to the Chariot, Gypsy, and Chateau Big Top brands, Jim produces Fusion Napa Valley Verjus, a cooking ingredient made from vinifera grapes, used in many of America's best professional kitchens.
Jeff Hunsaker - Winemaker
Jeff joined N2 Wines and Jim to take on the reins as winemaker in 2008. With over ten years experience at Joseph Phelps Vineyards in St. Helena and many years of experience in the food service industry, Jeff’s winemaking technique and palate have been developed in the wine trade and by market-driven experience. The two met while working together at Vincent’s on Camelback, a restaurant in Phoenix, AZ in 1986. Jim and Jeff discovered a love for wines and food, and with some hard work and a lot of fun, they transformed a friendship into a successful partnership making and marketing wines in the Napa Valley.
Lauren Barnard - Marketing & California Sales
Lauren began her career in wine as a freelancer and blogger―dedicated exclusively to exploring the concepts of sustainable wine production methods and wine on tap. Through her interviewing, she met N2 Wines and understood right away how they stood out in terms of pinoeering the wine on tap concept. She worked alongside N2 for two years as a hobby before joining the team in 2013. Prior to working in wine, Lauren worked in international affairs across Europe, Latin America, and Africa where she became and avid foodie and wine lover.
John Bigelow - California Sales Manager
John's love affair with wine begain in college and began to really get some legs when he spent the summer in Australia working in cellars in Hunter Valley. Seventeen hour days for two months straight in the searing heat gave him a new appreciation for the winemaking end of the business. Then jumping from Australia, to Argentina and Chile to France and Italy gave him a treasure trove of experiences in and out of the wine world. He returned to the San Francisco Bay area in 2003, and started the next phase of my wine career on the supplier side, selling both French and Italian wine.
Susana Partida - Texas Sales and Special Events
Susana discovered her passion for the wine world while learning all facets of the hospitality business. Several years working in high volume kitchens, catering and managing restaurants transformed into a career in sales at a Texas based wine distributor. In 2001, she realized her life long dream of starting her own business and founded Salute! Wine Brokers. Wanting to bring ‘fun and innovation’ back to the wine world, she has added N2 Wines Company to the Salute! portfolio. Susana is the broker for Texas sales and special events nationwide.
Summer Wolff - Indie Wineries Proprietor
Summer started Indie Wineries in 2009 while living part time in both Italy and New York. Summer is originally from Long Island, New York and has been working with wine for the past 10+ years, from top restaurants in the US to the vineyards in Italy. Indie Wineries came about from her discovery of numerous small artisanal wineries doing everything by hand in Europe, and her passion to help these winemakers, and share these wines with the US market by creating an import and brokerage wine company catered to the small and independent farmers. All of the wineries she represents produce using either organic or biodynamic methods, making for wines that are in harmony with nature. N2 Wines Company works closely with Summer and her Indie Wineries for our Italian, Austrian, and Slovenian wine selections.
Christian Vergier - Vintage Tradition Proprietor
Christian started Vintage Tradition and is based in Burgundy, France. Enologist, educator and entrepreneur, he is well-known and respected throughout France and France's island republics. Christian makes wine from his own modest vineyard holdings in the Côte de Beaune; consults young vignerons in Burgundy, the Loire Valley and Jura; and teaches viticulture, enology and analytical tasting at several of France's best wine schools. In 2009, Christian launched his own micro-négociant brand focused on specific terroirs in Macon and Beaujolais. Christian has become a partner with N2 Wines Company to find great wines throughout the French countryside.
Murielle Claudel - Proprietor, Murielle Claudel Wines
Murielle lives in Bordeaux and represents several Bordelaise, Provencal, and Languedoc properties while selling their bottled and bulk wines to the global market. She is our source for bulk wines from those regions, currently providing us with exceptional product access for N2 Wines and Chateau Big Top. She brings a refined and analytical palate as well as an expansive network of strong producer relationships to our program. Learn more about Murielle and her business here: www.murielleclaudelwines.com.