Our Winemaking Team
Winemaker Peter Velleno and Director of Winemaking Brooks Painter
Brooks Painter, Director of Winemaking
Brooks Painter has been a winemaker for nearly 30 years. He has experience making ultra-premium varietal wines from throughout the many different grape-growing regions of California. His current position is Director of Winemaking for Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, California. His previous position was Winemaking Operations Manager at Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville, California, and Brooks was formerly with Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Leeward Winery and Felton-Empire Vineyards.
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Peter Velleno, Winemaker
Peter Velleno was born and raised in San Francisco where he and his two older brothers were the fifth generation of their family to be born in the city. He attended the University of California at Davis. He took one class in the University’s renowned Food Science department and quickly changed his major from Chemical Engineering to Fermentation Science. After intensive study in winemaking, brewing science, microbiology and food engineering, he earned a BS in Fermentation Science; the only student in the 2003 UC Davis graduation ceremony to receive such a degree.
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David Béjar, Vineyard Manager
David Béjar brings over 40 years of experience to Castello di Amorosa. Born in Uruapan, Michoacan, David was just 8 years old when he began picking grapes at one of Ensenada's oldest wineries. David's father died when he was only 11, so he took up boxing at $8.00 a fight to supplement the family income. At the age of 16, after immigrating to the United States, he began to work as a tractor driver in Santa Rosa and continued to work his way up in the wine industry. Recruited by Dario Sattui in 1996, Béjar now manages over 300 acres of vineyards. He is responsible for the sustainable vineyard practices used at each site and provides the projections for the size of the harvest each season.