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The Hudson Team

The Hudson Team

A thousand pair of hands make Hudson Ranch, Vineyards and Wines the diverse farm it is today. Each member of our team, many of whom have worked with us since we started nearly thirty-five years ago, is employed year-round, as their special talents are necessary in farming Hudson Ranch all twelve months of the year.

The work is daily and very demanding, requiring great skill and depth of knowledge. Pruning the vineyards in winter, growing our fruits and vegetables (as well as one of the largest pumpkins grown in the state!) in summer, picking our grapes and pressing our olive oil in late autumn, and tending to growth in the vineyards and gardens in spring, the seasons of a farm are ceaseless and always unique. Each of this work is exacting and each member of Hudson Ranch and Vineyards is integral to the productivity of our endeavors in the vineyards, fields, and farm.

LEE HUDSON

Owner

The peaceful, bucolic setting of Hudson Ranch belies the energy, intensity and passion of proprietor Lee Hudson. Foresight and extraordinary diligence transformed the land into today’s highly esteemed vineyard. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Lee received his B.S. in Horticulture at the University of Arizona. He then worked with the esteemed Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac, in Morey St. Denis, Burgundy; learning that great grapes from hallowed vineyard sites produce truly world class, fine wines. Lee returned to the States to continue his graduate studies in viticulture and enology at University of California at Davis, where many of his classmates are now his clients. Lee searched for property from Santa Barbara to Mendocino, before deciding on the Carneros property in Napa Valley, founding Hudson Vineyards in 1981.

CRISTINA SP HUDSON

Owner

Cristina Salas-Porras Hudson developed her discerning eye through a distinguished, twenty-five year career in the interrelated disciplines of food and wine, hospitality, and design. After working alongside Alice Waters of Chez Panisse for ten years, Cristina consulted for Hermes, Slow Food International, Steve Jobs, and Rockfield Japan. Her talents and experience are now integral to her work with her husband, Lee, at Hudson Ranch and Vineyards, as well as overseeing their Napa Valley-based business, Hudson Greens & Goods. A native Texan from El Paso, Cristina received her BA in East Asian Studies from Middlebury College in Vermont, and a graduate degree in Japanese from Keio University in Japan. She helped to open the renowned Park Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo, and the art-driven Bardessono Hotel in Yountville, California, as well as co-founding O Olive Oil Company. Along with Lee and their children, Cristina is happiest gathering friends and family around her dining table.

Jayme Seki
Sales & Marketing

Originally from Northern California, Jayme Seki’s fifteen years of experience in wine, hospitality and business management provides a solid foundation for her work at Hudson Ranch. Growing up in a household where both English and Japanese were spoken, Jayme furthered her understanding of the Japanese culture while receiving a BA degree in Japanese and International Business from San Francisco State University. Jayme brings her breadth of knowledge, calm focus, understanding of people and keen resourcefulness to the intricate and daily details of managing this diverse ranch. Jayme is an avid runner and also travels the world’s backroads and brings home her experiences by cooking with family and friends.

Kristina Muelrath
General Manager

Growing up in rural Sonoma County, Kristina developed a lifelong passion for food and farming. This interest led to a bachelor and master degree in agriculture business from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While working in the office as a temporary assistant, Kristina quickly appreciated the blend of stewardship, sustainability and focus on quality that makes Hudson Ranch. Today, several years later, she is the General Manager of the ranch operations. In her spare time, Kristina enjoys spending time with her family exploring the Sierras or on the ranch, where they have horses and raise beef cattle.

Kelly Macleod
Director of Vineyard Operations

Director of Vineyard Operations since 2008. Kelly oversees the farming, grower –winery relations and daily operations of the 200 acres of vineyard. Her focus is on sustainable farming for high quality, site-driven fruit. Originally from the East Coast, she studied environmental science at Kenyon College. She is rarely seen around the ranch without her dog, Cricket.

Skip Karabian
Brand Director

Skip Karabian grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the heart of Silicon Valley. After graduating from the University of California at Davis, Skip embarked on a career in agriculture & wine. After five years of farming large production wines in California’s Central Valley, Skip moved to the Napa Valley to specialize in ultra-premium wines. In 2000, Skip joined the team at Wilson Daniels Ltd. as the Domestic Brand Manager for historic Napa Valley brands such as Schramsberg Vineyards and Silverado Vineyards. In 2002 an opportunity to join the staff at Duckhorn Wine Company was the perfect place for Skip to expand his experience in sales, direct to consumer marketing, and hospitality. After a successful time at Duckhorn, the opportunity presented itself in 2010 to join the Farm Collective and Regusci team managing national wholesale and opening the T-Vine and Tank Garage tasting rooms. In early 2018, a new opportunity presented itself at Hudson Ranch, a chance to work with Lee and Cristina Hudson and be a part of the next phase of their Napa Ranch. Skip lives in Napa with his wife Mollie and their two children.

Brian Warren
Sales & Marketing

Brian has only recently joined Hudson Ranch but brings a very lengthy and dynamic background from the realms of professional mountain climbing, team management and business ownership. Brian spent the better part of two decades traveling the world and leading clients to the highest peaks on the planet as a certified mountain guide. Brian has climbed, skied and guided on every continent and has travelled to over 60 countries. Brian spent most of his life based in Jackson Hole Wyoming leading trips into the mountains and managing a local guide service. After spending numerous winters in France and being introduced to wine through his clients, his affinity for wine appreciation and history quickly grew and became a very strong passion of his. With years of leading large-scale expeditions, his background in logistics, operations and high-end guest service has proved invaluable. Despite being new to Northern California and the wine industry, he has already gained experience in wine production, sales, hospitality and operations. Outside of enjoying old-world style wines, Brian can quite often be found near a local coffee shop before heading into the mountains.

Clayton Kirchhoff
Winemaker

Clayton comes to Hudson as a young Winemaker with 12 years of winery experience and an innate skill at crafting wines of presence. Clayton has been involved with the winemaking at Hudson over the last 6 years, and additionally gained experience while growing up and working in the vineyards of the small AVA of Clarksburg, California. Clayton was born in Nebraska and spent time in both Nebraska and rural California as a child. Following a BA in Business Economics at UC Santa Barbara, and a semester spent abroad in Italy, Clayton soon figured out that wine would be his life’s endeavor. Largely self-taught in winemaking, he has utilized the guidance and mentorship of some of the best winemakers in Napa Valley and beyond. Over the last 6 years Clayton has become familiar with the vineyard sites at Hudson Ranch and aims to be a steward to the wines. He is extremely excited and humbled to be able help guide the wines as production is brought back on site to the esteemed Hudson Ranch.

Miguel Figueroa
Foreman

Miguel is the foreman and is responsible for supervising the vineyard crew. Originally from Guanajuato Mexico, Miguel came to Napa at age 18 and was employed at Hudson soon after. His attention to detail and commitment to high quality grape growing has proven invaluable.

Leonardo Urena
Production Manager

Leonardo is the production manager and is responsible for supervising the garden, landscaping and livestock crews. Leonardo is one of the longest employees at Hudson having been here over 30 years. Not only is he known for growing beautiful, delicious vegetables, he is also a renowned pumpkin grower.

Marissa Sanchez
Estate Manager

Marissa worked as a culinary consultant in NYC’s restaurant and hospitality industry for over 20 years. In 2014, she relocated to the Napa Valley and began working as Estate Manager. Her Texas roots coupled with her big heart & hospitality make her a great asset to the team.