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, Jacob Crocker, Melissa Beals, Sierra Mercado, 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.
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..
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.
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!
Tasting Room Host
Stacy started learning about wine at a younger age while working at a local restaurant /wine bar in Sutter Creek. She has always had an interest in wine and the vineyard itself and found that interest turned into love with experience and time. Now at Noceto for 5 years, Stacy wants nothing more than to continue the experience and learn as much as possible about wine and the wine making process.
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!
Tasting Room / Events Manager
Ally recently relocated back to Amador County from Santa Barbara. She received a bachelor’s degree in business management and comes to us with 15 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. With a background in restaurant management, she has learned a lot about wine and is excited to extend her knowledge with Vino Noceto! During her free time, you’ll catch her hiking and adventuring around outside with her pup, Otter.
One of the newest additions to the crew, Matthew is the youngest of the Vino Noceto workforce. While he may not be old enough to drink our wine, that doesn’t stop him from showing up and accomplishing the most he can during each workday. He is currently studying to receive a degree in computer science. You can usually find him bussing tables or packing shipments at the winery!
Jessica, an Amador County native, is one of the newest additions to the Vino Noceto family! She has been in the hospitality industry for over 15 years and has always had a passion for the wine industry. Another one of Jessica’s passions is cooking! She enjoys cooking with wine and occasionally putting it in the actual food! [😉] Her top favorite varietals are Barbera and Zinfandel.
Jacob, born and raised in Amador County, is currently a student at Humboldt State University. He is studying psychology with the hopes to one day be a clinical psychologist and university professor. When he isn’t studying, you’ll find him reading fiction and mythology or pouring our delicious wines! Jacob is eager to learn as much as possible about wine, specifically Sangiovese, while at Vino Noceto.
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.