Tasting Room Manager
Billy has been a member of the Michel-Schlumberger family for the past five years working as the Tasting Room Manager at our former sister winery in Santa Barbara County. Now he brings his incredible talent, wine knowledge and sense of humor to Sonoma County and the tasting room at Michel-Schlumberger.
Prior to his career in the wine industry, Billy was a multi-award winning journalist working for numerous prestige publications, including the Los Angeles Times and the Robb Report. Perhaps that explains why his presentations in the tasting room are always peppered with witty stories that animate the lifestyles of the grapes and about the vinification process, which he often utilizes to help educate guests in a fun and comedic way.
A true oenophile, Billy began what he calls his “grape storytelling skills” more than a decade ago in the tasting room at Curtis Winery in Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley. Later he became the Tasting Room Manager for the past five years at Roblar Winery, where he perfected his artful approach to wine tasting.
His clever, informative presentations soon came to the attention of PBS, which once caught Billy in action and aired one of his group wine tastings on their radio stations and on their website. “Tasting Room Manager Billy Kissel does an over-the-top, sometimes adult-themed tasting experience,” offered PBS.
“Kissel mixes a traditional tasting, where you learn about the wines, with a lot of humor. Kissel has developed stories for all of the different types of wines he pours. Billy’s wine tasting experience has the people in this back room roaring with laughter.” Comedy notwithstanding, Billy insists the goal “is to make wine tasting informative but also fun.”
We invite you to the tasting room to meet Billy and the Michel-Schlumberger Tasting Room team during your next visit to the winery.
Bryan Davison, Director of Winemaking
Through his winemaking, Bryan Davison expresses the distinctive flavors of the soils, climate and benchland, hillside, and mountaintop vineyards of the Michel-Schlumberger Estate. With a focus on the creation of high quality, limited production lots, Bryan’s wines highlight the special flavor of the grape varietal, while maintaining balance and elegance in the wines. He achieves his goal through creative application of his technical skills, constant research in the vineyards and cellar, and an abiding respect for the unique opportunities of each vintage. Bryan’s credits include Martin Ray, Chateau St. Jean, and Roblar wineries.
Visit our Dry Creek Valley Tasting Room
We are immensely proud of our winery staff and the hospitality they provide to all of our exceptional guests. Visit Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate to receive some of the best tasting room service in West Sonoma County. Join us at Michel-Schlumberger Wine Estate to enjoy the gorgeous Healdsburg weather and Dry Creek Valley hills. From the beginning of our estate, we remain committed to maintaining a deep, personal commitment to sustainable winegrowing and preserving the land for generations to come.