Master Sommelier Emily Wines Named General Manager at Skipstone


Longstanding Kimpton Beverage Director and Remy Krug Cup Master Sommelier Joins Alexander Valley’s Skipstone Ranch

Master Sommelier Emily Wines Named General Manager at SkipstoneSkipstone owners Fahri and Constance Diner are thrilled to announce the arrival of Master Sommelier Emily Wines as Skipstone’s General Manager & Brand Ambassador. Previously the Senior Director of National Beverage Programs at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Wines is widely regarded as one of the industry’s most well-respected wine experts. Counted among only 230 master sommeliers worldwide, Wines is particularly noted for passing all three sections of the rigorous exam in her first attempt, winning the prestigious Remi Krug Cup. Beginning in April, Wines will oversee all of Skipstone’s operations, including hospitality, wine sales and marketing programs, while also working closely with consulting winemaker Philippe Melka.

Among her many career milestones, Wines was named the “2010 Wine Professional of the Year” by Santé magazine and was elected in 2014 to The Court of Master Sommeliers Board of Directors. She was also the driving force behind “Wines that Care,” a brand-wide Kimpton initiative celebrating conscientiously grown varietals and wineries. It is this interest in thoughtfully cultivated products and hospitality experiences that drew Wines to Skipstone, where she will have the opportunity to contribute to the production of each vintage, while maintaining the tradition and excellence of the Skipstone guest experience and industry relationships.

 “I’m excited to dive into my new position, which will afford me both a challenge and an opportunity to continue partnerships with many of the incredible wine professionals with whom I’ve worked with over the years,” explained newly-appointed General Manager Emily Wines. “Skipstone is truly a magical place. Creating the best wine that the land gives us means that quantity and demand are secondary considerations. Skipstone exemplifies what is hidden throughout Sonoma—the beauty in both its terroir and geography. I love the unique balance and elegance we are able to achieve with Bordeaux varietals at Skipstone”

Owned and operated by Cyprus native Fahri Diner, the 200-acre Skipstone is inspired by Diner’s youth in the heart of his native olive oil country. Currently in its eighth released vintage, the Skipstone vineyard spans twenty-eight organically farmed acres over a majestic, steeply sloped terrain in the hills above Sonoma’s Alexander Valley. The property itself lends a unique complexity to the Skipstone wine portfolio, boasting an incredible diversity of soil types and sun exposure. Aromatic notes of “a gorgeous nose of dusty, loamy soil scents interwoven with floral nuances, blackberry, licorice and dark, dark cherry. Very spicy and earthy, with a hint of new saddle leather” have earned Skipstone’s 2013 and 2012 Bordeaux-style “Oliver’s Blend” an outstanding 94 points for each vintage in Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate. Skipstone also produces a Viognier and a Cabernet Franc blend named Faultline, all of which are sold exclusively on-premise and direct to consumer via the mailing list.

This celebrated and extremely limited production at Skipstone’s vineyards is guided by a core philosophy of respect for the land, striving to both reflect the property’s unique terroir and minimize impact on the present ecosystem. Grown using strictly organic farming principals and harvested by hand, the vines at Skipstone are the backbone of consulting winemaker Philippe Melka’s creative process. Beyond the vineyard, the ranch also boasts a culinary garden and orchard, chickens, sheep, horses, beehives and a solar powered infrastructure to best support sustainable practices. Guest visits to the ranch feature sophisticated pairings using organically grown ingredients picked fresh from the gardens, hosted outdoors to take advantage of Skipstone’s sweeping views of the Alexander Valley.

About Skipstone

Located on the western side of the Mayacamas mountain range, overlooking Sonoma’s Alexander Valley, Skipstone is acclaimed for its organically grown grapes certified by the CCOF, and very limited production. Under the direction of winemaker Philippe Melka, the property currently offers three wines: Oliver’s Blend – a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend, Faultline Vineyard – a Cabernet Franc and Merlot dominated blend, and a 100% Viognier. Skipstone is currently in its eighth released vintage, and produces about 1,000 cases annually which are sold exclusively on-premise and direct to consumer via the mailing list. Owned and operated by Cyprus native Fahri Diner and his wife, Constance, Skipstone is also home to a stunning, seven acre olive orchard and certified organic olive oil production. For more information, please visit