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OUR TEAM

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THE DAMIANI

Founding Fathers

The founders of DWC, Lou Damiani (specializing in energy conservation at Cornell University) and Phil Davis (a logger by trade) both grew up in Hector, NY.

Lou, who has had a long-time interest in wine making, originally went to school for food science before switching into engineering. In the mid-nineties he returned to studying winemaking in a serious way, working closely with some local winemakers to deepen his understanding and experience. He then reached out to his old friend and college mate Phil Davis, a long-time viticulturist, to be part of the project. Together they vowed, first and foremost, to prove that beautiful red wines can be made in the Finger lakes. The two of them threw themselves into the project. In 1997 Lou planted his first vineyard of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The following year, Phil pulled out a hybrid vineyard and planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The two friends and partners soon started making some good wines from the Finger Lakes region from local vineyards and when their vineyards started producing in 2003, they took the next step and began making world class red wines. The journey has never slowed down as they include many more varieties of grapes and types of wine, always striving for excellence and expression of the unique terroir of the Finger Lakes region.

Lou was the head winemaker from inception in 2003 until 2011 when he helped to train Phil Arras to continue and improve the tradition at Damiani Wine cellars. Phil Davis focused on the viticulture aspect knowing that beautiful wine must start in the vineyard. In 2007 they were joined by Glenn Allen who brought his business background and passion for wine to DWC.

GM/CO-OWNER

Glenn Allen

Glenn Allen is an aficionado who tasted his way into the wine business. Hired as a management consultant in 2007 by founding members Lou Damiani (winemaker) and Phil Davis (grower), Glenn was amazed at the quality of wine they produced and jumped at the opportunity to join as Co-Owner.

Glenn’s background includes working for NGO’s in international conservation before shifting to business consulting. In addition to their shared love of great wine, the Owners share a passion for the land and people of the Finger Lakes, are champions of local food, music and art, and are fighting for the preservation of pastoral beauty against the forces of industrialization.

WINEMAKER

Katey Larwood

Damiani Wine Cellars is excited and delighted to welcome Katey Larwood to our team as our new winemaker!

Katey was born & raised in the East Bay Area of California and received her BS in viticulture & enology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She brings vast and varied experience and qualifications to us; including having made wine in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Russian River Valley, Central Otago (New Zealand), Alsace, Hunter Valley (Australia), Mendocino, and the Finger Lakes.

In 2015 Katey came to the Finger Lakes to work at Keuka Lake Vineyards for two seasons and fell in love with the region. After her time here Katey returned to California and worked at Goldeneye Winery in Anderson Valley, Mendocino making Pinot Noir, Sparkling wines, and Gewürztraminer. However, the FLX remained in her heart. When Katey came to us to interview to be our new winemaker this spring we all knew we had found a perfect match for Damiani Wine Cellars! We were wooed by her experience, energy, enthusiasm, and attention to detail and are thrilled to welcome her aboard.

When Katey isn’t working her heart out in the cellar, lab, or vineyards she spends her time with her partner, Taylor and her sweet dog, Lou (Yep!  Another Lou!) finding exciting adventures, cooking, reading, and enjoying music. And as if that isn’t enough, she also participates in triathlons!

WINEMAKER

Phil Arras

Phil grew up in Philadelphia and moved to the finger lakes in 2003 to attend Cornell University, where he studied philosophy and political science. After taking a class on wine appreciation, he was bit by the wine bug and resolved to go back to school for winemaking, but before he could make it to California he was hired by Damiani Wine Cellars in 2009 as the assistant winemaker and decided to try out learning on the job. After several years as assistant, Phil became the head winemaker in 2012. He also runs a small mobile wine bottling company, providing bottling services for several small local wineries. He lives in north Hector with his wife Erin, his two kids Rhys and Gwen and their two dogs, Maggie and Molly.

TASTING ROOM MANAGER

Jeremy Broshears

When Jeremy first joined the Damiani team in August of 2017 we instantly recognized a kindred spirit! From the start it was apparent that he was a perfect fit for Damiani Wine Cellars not only from a customer service standpoint but in more business-related spheres as well.

He possesses a vast knowledge of wine, derived in part from his father, who was in wine sales for Treasury Wine Estates (and of course from enjoying a wide variety of wines himself).

Jeremy soaked up Damiani’s history, philosophy, and all the nuances of our various wines like a sponge. Almost more important than all those exceptional attributes, is Jeremy’s integrity when it comes to customer service. He puts an earnestly solid face on customer interaction, often going out of his way to care for the needs and wants of our wonderful fans! A long previous career in IT and management didn’t hurt either.

WINE CLUB AND SHIPPING MANAGER

Brandy Ahouse

Brandy, born and raised in the Finger Lakes Region, began her immersion in the local wine industry in the late 90’s when she followed in her mother, Peggy’s footsteps and worked briefly for Lamoreaux Landing in the vineyard, and for a season at the former Finger Lakes Champagne House behind the tasting bar. She then left the industry to receive a degree in Automotive Technology and worked for several years in the automotive industry before moving on to something completely different! After working 13 years in women’s garment wholesale, she returned to the wine industry when she joined Daminai Wine Cellars full time at the beginning of 2014 and quickly ascended to Shipping Manager. Since, she has taken over management of Damiani’s ever growing Wine Club. In her spare time she enjoys making and selling jewelry from stones and fossils she harvests from the Finger Lakes paired with other various gems and natural beads. Relaxing for Brandy means avidly reading and snuggling with her two pit bull mixes Arkham & Solstice who happen to be excellent, if a bit overly enthusiastic, ambassadors for the breed!