Our Nutty Crew
Suzy and Jim Gullett are the owners of Vino Noceto. They lived in Lafayette, CA for 19 years, where they raised their family until 1995. After 11 years of long-distance farming and winemaking, they moved to the Shenandoah Valley in order to drive the growth of their vineyard and winery operations. Their three children -- Randy, Bobby, and Lindy -- were each actively involved in the business through childhood, providing manual labor, office support and occasional wine deliveries. All three now live in the Bay Area -- Randy, wife Mary, and two sons in Alamo, Lindy in San Francisco, and Bobby in Walnut Creek (not far from Suzy's childhood home).
Suzy serves myriad roles at Noceto--Northern California wholesale sales force; tax & compliance department; wine club manager; retail (point-of-sale) and customer systems administrator; marketing director; and much more. As we grow, she has reluctantly begun to share some of her many roles and responsibilities. Following a 35 year career in the banking systems software industry, Jim has become an active member of the the local and regional community, serving as president of Family Winemakers of California, the Plymouth Foothills Rotary, and the Amador Business Council, as well as contributing his leadership skills to the Amador High School athletics programs, the Plymouth Farmers’ Market, the Amador County Wine Grape Growers, and the Amador Council of Tourism. You'll often see him mingling with the customers -- either giving tours or standing behind the bar in the tasting room.
Meet our Staff
Vino Noceto's staff comprises a diverse set of talented individuals, each of whom has helped the winery establish itself as the premiere producer of Sangiovese and other Italian wine varietals in Amador County, the Sierra Foothills, California, and beyond. We would not be here today without the numerous contributions from our winery staff, farmers, grape growers and tasting room staff members. Vino Noceto has many wonderful part-time nuts who are not listed below, like Stacy Gregersen, Rich Ferro, Stacy Billesbach, Chadd Beals, Melissa Beals, Sierra Mercado, Jacob Crocker, Patty Bautista, Patty Collett-Robb, Arlene Stohl, Pat Brown, Henry Arcangel, Peter Telfer, Barbara Kropacek.
Rusty Folena started his career in winemaking as a teenager, sweeping floors at Santino winery and pruning vines in the Original Grandpere Vineyard. Rusty joined Vino Noceto as Assistant Winemaker in early 1999. In 2001 he became Winemaker. Due to his early vineyard work and the direction of his tutors, Scott Harvey & Gordon Binz, Rusty understands and naturally pursues fruit-driven, varietally-accurate wines. This makes him ideal for Vino Noceto’s style and approach to winemaking.
Events & Program Manager
Kelsey comes to us with a background in Recreation and an outgoing personality to match. After many years in the non-profit sector, she greets everyone with a wide smile and a "welcome to Camp Noceto." Kelsey is an avid hiker and lover of the out-of-doors. In 2018 she backpacked through the famed 1,800 mile long Te Araroa trail in New Zealand, in one of our Squirrrel hats! She brings the "fun" to Vino Noceto.
Tyler is left-handed, which means he swirls clockwise. He learned to swirl a glass and tell the difference between Burgundy and Bordeaux as wine buyer for Whole Foods Market. A Northern California native, he received his BA from John Cabot University in Rome, Italy and his M.Litt from the Univeristy of Glasgow (in Victorian literature). He is usually found reading heavier novels and drinking lighter wines. Tyler likes cooking, meandering, shades of green, debates about ranking novels, and time with family. He was awarded the WSET Diploma in 2018.
Dave "Farmer" Brown can be seen daily, toiling in the vineyards as he preps each vine for the upcoming season. Dave also oversees the care and maintenance of our estate walnut orchard and olive groves. With consultation from winemaker Rusty, Dave executes much of the care that is required to produce a top quality Sangiovese.
Club / Sales Administrator
Kristin has been with Vino Noceto for over a decade. Working with proprietor Suzy Gullett and Operations Manager Tyler Lee, Kristin takes on all sorts of administrative duties. She is one of the mavens who makes sure that your favorite wines make it to your doorstep. Kristin also serves as the backbone of all things "club." She also takes lots of beautiful photos!
Weekday Tasting Room Host
John is originally from San Diego and moved to northern California to start his career as a semiconductor professional. Newly married, he accepted a position with Intel Corporation in Folsom CA and in 1990 moved to Plymouth. Unbeknownst to him he landed in a small little-known wine region called Shenandoah Valley with a handful of family owned wineries. He soon became a wine enthusiast and now you can find him in the tasting room at Vino Noceto. He enjoys spending time outdoors with family and of course with a glass of great Sangiovese!
Wine Educator / Wholesale
An Amador native, Rhys has been working in the Amador County wine industry since 2009. A true lover of wine, Rhys specializes in wine education, and when owner Jim Gullett isn't available, he is the go-to tour guide for Vino Noceto's famous Farm-to-Glass tours. Make sure to say hello next time you see him in the Tasting Room!
He's the man who can do it all! We are so thankful to have Rich around. A former firefighter, Rich is ready for any task, from building shelves out of wine barrels to making sure that the property stays spotless. Thank you, Rich!!
Vino Noceto's first winemaker at our estate facility, Stacey Gregersen is still an integral part of the Noceto team. She visits the winery regulary to help with blending, crushing, and winemaking. We're even trying to convince her to help us put on a blending session for our guests!
Meet the Dogs of Noceto
Doggie D is King of Vino Noceto's yard.
Note: Friendly dogs are welcome on-leash in our Tasting Room,. If there are any issues with crowding, we will happily serve those with canine companions on our outdoor patio. Only service dogs are guaranteed access to the inside of the tasting room.
Barrel Bung Chaser
In a group of fast dogs, Heidi is the fastest, especially when barrel bungs are flying through the air. Heidi mainly hangs out up at the winery with winemaker Rusty Folena, but when she makes her occasional visits down to the tasting room, she is full of kisses and excitement.
Named after Dickson Road, the small road that separates the two parcels on the Noceto Estate, Dickson is an energetic and friendly guard dog. Be cautious because he guards against strangers, but once he knows you, he is all cuddles. Dickson's favorite activities are chasing cars, eating, barking, and relaxing in the shade.
Despite being named after Edgar Allan Poe, Poe the pup is all rainbows, sunshine, and cuddles. Originally raised as a city dog, Poe loves her new life in the country, especially when she gets to roll around in weeds and huge piles of dirt. Poe is a little shy with strangers, so she only visits the tasting room on weekdays.