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Team Biographies


Gavin Newsom

Gavin Newsom is a fourth-generation San Franciscan who was elected to consecutive terms as Mayor of the city and now serves as Lieutenant Governor of California. Over the years, Newsom has worked tirelessly in the public sector to revitalize MUNI, restore neighborhood parks, combat homelessness and protect diversity.

Also an entrepreneur and wine enthusiast, Newsom, with philanthropist Gordon Getty, opened the retail venue, PlumpJack Wines, in 1992. Their vision was to demystify the wine-buying experience by providing a friendly, helpful atmosphere. Today this vision has expanded to include PlumpJack Winery, CADE Estate Winery, fine restaurants, resorts, and retail outlets.

Newsom lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.

John Conover, General Manager

Longtime wine industry executive John Conover is General Manager of PlumpJack Winery and Partner in CADE Estate Winery. He has overseen the founding and construction of CADE Estate Winery on Howell Mountain, the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certified estate winery in Napa Valley. Under his direction, the winery released its first vintages of Sauvignon Blanc and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, among them the 2008 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon that received 98+ points from Robert Parker.

"Howell Mountain is known for growing great Cabernet," says Conover. "Our goal with CADE is to make wines that are dense, rich, and age-worthy but not rustic or tannic. Howell Mountain terroir is so unique that we had to step back and rethink everything about winemaking from the vineyard to the cellar, so that our wines reflect the power of their terroir with one-of-a-kind approachability. We're calling this characteristic CADE style Modern Howell Mountain."

Conover joined PlumpJack Winery in 1999, after holding sales, marketing, and management positions with Grgich Hills Cellar, Monticello Cellars, and Lockwood Vineyard. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Napa County Land Trust and Napa Valley Grape Growers.

Danielle Cyrot, Head Winemaker

Photo: Danielle Cyrot

Danielle Cyrot brings to CADE a diversity of winemaking experience. Having grown up with a French father with whom she took annual trips to France, Danielle was exposed to the winemaking history of her family from a young age. Her great-grandfather was the last in a long line of ancestors who owned the Cyrot vineyard in Burgundy’s prestigious Côte de Beaune. 

Danielle had no plans to carry on her family’s winemaking legacy when she enrolled at the University of California, Davis; however, that quickly changed when she took an introductory winemaking class and knew she had found her calling. While at Davis, she worked harvests at Schramsberg and Artesa in Napa Valley, learning the trade from the soil up. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in viticulture and enology, Danielle worked abroad at wineries in Alsace, France and South Australia. 

Danielle comes to CADE Estate Winery from St. Clement, where she was praised for crafting elegant, structured and balanced wines with refined tannins. Before taking on the role at St. Clement, she worked as an enologist and was then promoted to assistant winemaker at Stag’s Leap under her mentor, Robert Brittan.

Stephen Cruzan, Assistant Winemaker

Stephen Cruzan

As Assistant Winemaker at CADE Estate, Stephen Cruzan is dedicated to crafting fine estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc in the Modern Howell Mountain style.

Stephen comes to CADE from three years at Chappellet; prior to that, he traveled internationally, working harvests at Sacred Hill in Hawkes Bay, Domain d’Ardhuy in Burgundy, and Clemens Bush in the Mosel River Valley. Other industry experience includes lab work at Kathryn Hall Winery and a brief stint in wine sales. Stephen holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from North Carolina State University.