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Bios

Jack Galante – Proprietor

Jack worked on the family’s cattle ranch every summer as a young man, and his interest in wine started while living in Europe at age 13. A geographer and environmental planner by education, Jack’s passion for, and dedication to, preserving the land manifests in his sustainable approach to his cattle ranch, vineyards, and winery. Jack is the creative mind behind Galante Vineyard's label design and brand building, and he oversees all aspects of the business with an emphasis on national and international distribution and assisting Greg in the winemaking process. Charismatic and charming, Jack is a respected member of the greater wine community and has represented Monterey County since 1996 as a Board Member of the family winemakers of California. He is also a talented chef. At many winery events, Jack can be found happily wielding BBQ spatula and tongs and offering generous pours of whatever vintage he happens to have on hand to everyone within arm's reach. Jack is as dedicated to his winery as he is to his family: his wife Dawn and their five children. If Jack is not side by side with Dawn in their tasting room offices, he is probably holding her hand as they walk through the vines, their dogs never too far behind. Jack is the true embodiment of the "cowboy philosophy" he preaches, stylizing his life on exacting advice such as, "Always drink upstream from the herd," and "If you come to a fork in the road, take the fork!"

 

 

Dawn R Galante – CFO

With a passion for life and a head for business, Dawn has managed the books and all finances not only for her own winery, but also for her husband's Galante Vineyards, Rancho Galante, and Galante Family Winery.   Born and raised in Michigan, Dawn traveled to California in 1985, was introduced to her husband Jack in 1999, and has worked with Galante Vineyards since 2001.   Approachable and easy to talk to, Dawn cherishes her family and friends above all else. Dawn has a mischievous, adventurous side, and is always eager to take part in her favorite outdoor sports: snow skiing, scuba diving, and hiking.  As living proof that dreamers exist and excel, Dawn has built her life on free-thinker Henry David Thoreau's belief that "Dreams are the touchstones of our character." When not pulling long hours at the tasting room offices on QuickBooks, Dawn can occasionally be found strolling hand in hand with Jack through the vines at twilight.

 

 

Greg Vita – Winemaker

A fifth generation Californian and early morning long-distance runner, Greg has been a vineyard and winemaking consultant to wineries in the Napa Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains, and Monterey County since 1994. Prior to opening his consulting business he was with Spring Mountain Vineyards in St. Helena for twelve years serving as Wine Maker and General Manager. A UC Davis graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Botany and Plant Science, Greg has made wine for Frogs Leap, Dunn, Philip Tongi, Spottswood, and Chimney Rock. Since the start of Galante Vineyards in 1994, Greg has shown his dedication to excellence in the rich, robust wines that he produces. Married with two sons, Greg is quiet yet amusingly frank, believing that, as JRR Tolkien said, "The wise speak only of what they know." He enjoys the outdoor pursuits of hiking, fly fishing, and skiing, and can often be seen commuting between vineyards in Cachagua and his family home in Big Sur, maybe in a Mini Cooper, or perhaps his Dodge Ram.

 

 

Maegan Kohn - General Manager

There really isn't anything Maegan can't do. Her can-do attitude is instrumental in leading our team at Galante.  Originally from Carmel, Indiana (yes, she loves the city of Carmel...wherever it is!), she moved to Carmel, California in pursuit of a new beginning and a challenge. In 2012, Maegan worked for Jack and Dawn Galante, and took a short break, returning as the company's own super hero in 2016, as she's now a mom to her adorable and outgoing daughter McKenna (aka Nugget), while excelling as our General Manager. Maegan's team leadership abilities was honed at the Univeristy of North Carolina when she was the captain of the Women's Rowing Team.  You can hear her still yell out, "Go Tar Heels!", but she is always rooting for Galante Vineyards! In fact she's often enjoying a bottle of the Red Rose Cabernet with her husband, Andy after a productive day of juggling mommyhood and taking care of business at Galante Vineyards. 

 

 

Danielle Dames – Operations Manager

Born and raised in Castroville, the Artichoke capital of the world, its no wonder Danielle took to the wine industry.  Both artichokes and grapes love the coastal marine layer, and Danielle loves to pair the thistle with a glass of Galante Sauvignon Blanc. Always a coastal kid at heart, Danielle enjoys the beauty and tranquility of Carmel Beach after a day at the office while walking a dog or two.  After years of working in the corporate sector, primarily in the banking and publishing industry, Danielle enjoys learning as much as she can about the local winemaking process, as well as working for a family business.  Her business savviness and attention to the utmost of details keep everyone in line as she leads the team as our fearless Operations Manager.  And one final note: when Danielle wants to feel extra warm and fuzzy, she pours herself a glass of Galante Blackjack Pasture, and enjoys it with a Rib Eye steak, of course!
 

 

Janet Mueller – Tasting Room

A newcomer to the west coast, Janet arrived in 2012 from Marco Island, Florida, by way of the Maine coast and the Chicago countryside where she grew up.  Her acclimation to Carmel began with an introduction to the tasting room by longstanding Galante Wine Gang members and friends.  Now, she finds herself sharing Galante-style wines with those who have the same fascination and fondness for California wines as she has. This spring, Janet spent several weeks in Provence, France, immersed in the culture, food and wine. Her many years in the travel industry took her to exotic destinations, in much the same way a fine wine can transport you.  She brings to the Galante tasting room a genuine appreciation for wine and her guests' tasting experience. Carmel is a wine-oriented culture, and the beauty and spirit of adventure are what brought Janet here.  When she’s not busy in the tasting room, she’s exploring this beautiful coast: riding, hiking, and walking her dogs on the beach.  She’s certain Jimmy Buffett has it right that “If there’s a heaven for me, it has a beach attached to it.”  And a glass of wine at sunset, too.

 

 

Molly Nance – Sales Representative

Some people collect knickknacks of the sorts...Molly collects experiences. Originally from the Monterey Peninsula, she once decided on a Sunday to move to Seattle to pursue an internship at a public relations company devoted to food and wine. She’s worked in restaurants in major U.S. cities including Boston, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. Recently she earned a WSET Level 2 certificate (Wine Spirits Education Trust) to gain as much knowledge as she can about the wine industry. She also uses it as intellectual ammunition when she obtains and retains wholesale accounts for Galante Vineyards. Throughout the week, you can find Molly pouring wine at the Galante Tasting room, assisting Jack and Greg with winery tours, or hiding behind her Cannon 7D capturing b-roll and interviews, before geeking out in front of her computer to produce marketing videos for the winery. Molly’s favorite Galante wine? She toggles between the 2013 Kickass Red and the 1998 Rancho Galante Cabernet. (both are a tad spicy).
 

 

Rachael White – Social Media Manager

If there’s one thing that amazes Rachael, it’s people and the great outdoors. She’s specifically found of the Pacific Northwest, the home of her alma mater. Rachael graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, while minoring in Sociology and Anthropology. She is a mix between a globetrotting media maven who loves to travel and explore the wild wilderness, and a homebody who hunkers down from time to time to partake in a full day of baking delicious pies and cakes. Her adventurous spirit and tech aptitude makes it fitting that she's Galante's social media “kween.” Every insight into the Galante brand that lives on the interwebs has her personal stamp on it. Rachael is originally from Marin County, and daughter of Jack and Dawn Galante. Rachael has always had an affinity for the California wine industry, particularly because she grew up at Galante Vineyards. (And yes, if you recognize the spelling of her name, she is THE Rachael named after one of the wines in the Dawn’s Dream Winery pinot noir trilogy.).