Meet The Brokers
Mindy Witter

William Burnes

grew up in sunny Southern California. One of his earliest road trips led him, along with a good friend, to the beautiful Napa and Sonoma Valleys. On that trip he discovered the magic of single vineyard wines and the die was cast. Fast forward a few years and he and his wife settle down in what is now the Russian River Appelation to start a family. Hey, it's the Wine Country, so by the late eighties they are in the wine business. First, taking on the national marketing of a local winery producing killer, big, bold reds. And then founding The Wine Selection. With over twenty years of experience, relationships and tasting, tasting, tasting he is still as passionate about great wine as he was on that memorable road trip 25 years ago. Still living in the same town in the the Russian River Appelation, now with kids in college, he is looking forward to the next twenty years of bringing the best wines produced, both locally and abroad, to wine lovers all over the country.

800.787.9463 • 707.829.6170 • Email Willy
Broker Brandon

Al Liner

has done everything from picking grapes to making wine in his 35 years in the wine industry. As a personal wine consultant his roots go deep and wide in both Napa and Sonoma and those connections are an invaluable resource for his clients. “I am often able to get my customers some of the hardest to get California wines.” His personal contacts within the industry are only matched by one of the most experienced palates in the business. “I tell my customers that each year I taste over 2,000 wines and spit most of them out so that they don’t have to.” Al’s skills and passion for good wine, combined with a rock solid reputation for honesty and integrity make him one of the most in demand wine consultants working. “Over the years Al has turned me on to some of the best wines in my cellar.” – Harry Kraus, Customer

800.787.9463 • 707.829.6170 • Email Al
Broker Brandon

Brandon Downs

has an understanding of wine that only comes from growing up around vineyards. Sonoma Valley born and raised, Brandon is one of the youngest guys to already have his own wine label. An avid outdoorsman, Brandon knows soil, vines and vineyards. In fact, as a teenager, he had already been run out of more vineyards at midnight than most people visit in a lifetime. A large part of Brandon’s college career focused on Viticulture and Enology. Like many great winemakers Brandon also believes that the best wines made are made in small batches and that the wine gets made in the vineyard. “I love that I get to represent some of the best winemakers in the world.” Good wine is a life-long passion with Brandon and there are few things he would rather talk about. Unless you want to talk about duck hunting, fishing, or the Inaugural Release of his first-born child, that is.

800.787.9463 • 707.889.7179 • Email Brandon
Broker Watson

David Watson

is Wine Country born and raised with a passion for both great food and great wine. His love of great food led to culinary school and a few years in professional kitchens, while his love of great wine put him in the top of the corporate wine business with a stint at Constellation Brands. The years of professional experience and tasting thousands of wines brought him to what he loves most, the small lot, artesian wineries. "When you are only working a single vineyard and only making 140 cases you get a very different wine from something made in 50,000 case lots. You can taste the difference. I especially enjoy discovering under-the-radar gems the rest of the world doesn’t know about yet." Love of wine is second only to love of family and the joy of being a parent. Off-duty, David enjoys being outdoors in beautiful Sonoma County.

800.787.9463 • 707.829.6170 • Email David
David Lewis

David Lewis

moved to Sonoma County from the big city over 20 years ago and never looked back. In that time he has worked with hundreds of wineries in a wide range of sales, marketing, advertising and graphic design capacities. “The 1988 Gauer Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was one of the first wines I tasted when I moved up here and I can say that it changed my life. Sourced from western-facing vineyards at about 1,200 feet up in the Mayacamas Mountains above the Alexander Valley, that wine showed me what mountain-grown fruit can do for a wine.” David is also a semi-pro musician and enjoys playing at outdoor events at wineries. “It really is a gift to be able to represent these small, family owned wineries. They are passionate about their work and the land and they are making some of the best wine in the world.”

800.787.9463 • 707.829.6179 • Email David
Mindy Witter

Mindy Witter

is the Wine Selection’s Operations Manager, but that hardly begins to describe the person that is the heartbeat of the firm. In addition to handling the administrative responsibilities she also handles all accounting issues, is our Cellar Master, Shipping Manager and is blessed with one of the most acute palates in our tasting panel. When she is not busy imposing order on the frequently chaotic demands of Sonoma County’s oldest wine brokerage, you can find her enjoying a truly diverse range of interests in the Northern California Wine Country. True to her West Sonoma County roots Mindy is a Pinot kind-of-gal. Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and the love of a crisp un-oaked Chardonnay are passions that shape many of her Cooking Club contributions. Many are surprised when they find out that the very lady-like Mizz Witter is also an avid angler and an X-treme, hard-core, died-in-the-wool, life long supporter of the San Francisco Giants.

800.787.9463 • 707.829.6170 • Email Mindy
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