Archives: Team Hank and Linda Wetzel Hank and Linda Wetzel founded the bonded winery at Alexander Valley Vineyards in 1975, almost thirteen years after Hank’s parents purchased “their place in the country”. Hank supervised the construction and then produced Alexander Valley Vineyard’s first wine in 1975. His wife Linda set up the books and managed the winery office. AVV quickly established a reputation for estate grown wines with distinctive varietal character. Acclaimed for luscious Chardonnay and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley Vineyards brought recognition to the area and is known as a leading winery in Sonoma County. 2021 marks the family’s 59th year on the historic property and will be the winery’s 47th vintage. Katie Wetzel Murphy Katie Wetzel Murphy has a special knowledge of Alexander Valley Vineyards that comes from decades of experience on the historic property purchased by her parents in 1962. She joined AVV in 1979 after earning her B.A. in Agricultural Economics from UC Davis. She quickly jumped into the role of winery ambassador, traveling the country in a quest to find new customers for the fledgling winery, along the way building a sales network to take care of AVV’s accounts. During her tenure, a lot has changed at Alexander Valley Vineyards. However, Katie’s position at the winery shows one thing hasn’t changed — AVV remains a family business with multiple generations of the Wetzel Family contributing to its success. Kevin Hall Kevin Hall has a unique insight gained from studying winemaking across the globe and his twenty harvests at Alexander Valley Vineyards. He joined AVV’s winemaking staff in 1998. A Masters of Enology from UC Davis, experience at wineries in California, Germany and New Zealand — as well as time spent exploring the major wine regions of the world — combined with his tenure at AVV give him irreplaceable knowledge and easily explain why his wines have a traditional style. Under his direction, Alexander Valley Vineyards has become known for elegant age-worthy wines that truly reflect a sense of place. Harry Wetzel, IV Harry Wetzel, IV grew up with the family business and the office outside his back door. He is one of the third generation working at the family owned winery. Like his father, he attended UC Davis where he graduated with a degree in Enology and Viticulture. “For me, being part of a family business means continuing the traditions my grandfather and father started at the winery and in the community,” Harry says. “It’s also a matter of preserving the integrity of the Wetzel family name. It’s a lot to live up to given the work the rest of my family has done, but I see it as a fun challenge.” As Head of Operations, one of Harry’s principal duties is to work with growers so that AVV has the perfect fruit. “It’s all about making the right decisions, from producing the highest quality wine that we can to volunteering in our community.” Robert Wetzel Over the years, Robert Wetzel has worked in all aspects of the business — from pruning vines in the vineyard, to the long hours of crush, in the cellar, on the bottling line and handling the details in the office. He grew up among his family’s vineyards in Sonoma County right next door to the winery started by his parents. He is a third generation family member and a partner in the family operated business. His decades of experience, along with a degree from the University of Southern California and MBA from the University of North Dakota allow him to preserve the legacy of his family’s history while focusing on future opportunities. As National & International Sales Director, he is responsible for the wholesale and retail sales in the US and abroad. John Wetzel John Wetzel is the youngest of AVV founders Harry and Maggie Wetzel’s four children. He spent the summers of his early years working in the vineyards and bottling some of the first vintages of family wines. With degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Pepperdine University, his initial career was in engineering, but John has always remained close to the family wine business as an owner and partner in both the vineyard and winery operations. He is also involved in sales as the Utah Sales Manager.