The Wine Foundry credits it’s success to it’s incredible team. Feel free to get in touch with us for queries, concerns or just to say hello!
Philip Von Burg, President/ CEO
Kodiak, Chief Security Officer
Some are born into privileged roles within the wine industry. Not Kodiak. His improbable tail of success began as a lost and lonely resident of the Marin Humane Society. Here, a desperate pup at leashes end, Kodiak found a way out by learning to bark in cat, bird, horse and human. Through a combination of vocal talent, unyielding determination and a refusal to wear doggie outfits, Kodiak barked himself up by his pawstraps and left behind the troubled times when he begged for food and drank water from hoses.
While proud of his accomplishments, Kodiak honors his humble beginnings by accepting raw bones and treats from bank tellers and UPS delivery folk. When not at The Wine Foundry, Kodiak enjoys chasing rabbits, powder days at Squaw Valley and reading Jack London. Woof!
Patrick Saboe, Director Wine Making
In 1996, Patrick Saboe was reshaping the Charleston, SC restaurant scene at nationally lauded Slightly North of Broad, when a honeymoon to California’s wine country changed his life. What began as an excuse to celebrate nuptials, transformed into a journey in pursuit of the perfect fermentation. Toward this end, Patrick traded kitchen tools for winemaking textbooks by enrolling in the Enology & Viticulture program at U.C. Davis.
While attending Davis, Patrick worked at Robert Sinskey Vineyards and assisted Dr. Andy Walker in the Pierce’s Disease Resistance Rootstock Breeding Program. Upon graduation, he became Harvest Enologist for Hanna Winery before becoming the Assistant Winemaker at Keller Estate. Here, Patrick gained valuable experience working closely with renowned winemaker, Michael McNeill (Hanzell), to produce multiple award-winning wines.
In 2006, he became Winemaker and Vineyard Manager for Petroni Vineyards as well as Consulting Winemaker for Verismo Wines. In 2008, Patrick accepted the Director of Winemaking position at Pezzi King Vineyards. These experiences were a perfect fit for his next ventures as Winemaker for Crushpad and Director of Winemaking at The Wine Foundry.
Patrick’s winemaking philosophy is simple: exceptional wines are made from exceptional fruit with exceptional care. Consequently, he collaborates closely with the numerous growers who partner with The Wine Foundry, assuring that quality is paramount.
When not treating each client barrels as his own, Patrick spends time with his wife Dawn and three children Maddy, Claire and Jackson in Petaluma.
Conner Berken, Enologist
Stuart Ake, Vice President Accounts
Raised a tortured Cubs fan within the friendly confines of suburban Chicago, Stu learned to doubt statistical probability from an early age. After undergraduate studies in philosophy & education, Stu focused on improving literacy in classrooms in New York City before moving west for graduate school at Berkeley.
Upon relocating to the Bay Area, he was bitten by the wine bug. He tinkered with fermentation before making the career transition into the wine industry in 2006. However, Stu couldn’t shake the teaching bug and began to develop hands-on experiences around wine, which led to the launch of his company, Tasting Lab. In addition to Tasting Lab, Stu writes for several wineries and serves as ‘Wine Professor’ for the Foley Food & Wine Society.
He’s appeared on The Today Show, and his activities & materials have received critical praise in Wine Spectator, Food & Wine, Forbes, Men’s Journal, Time and Chicago Tribune. Suffice to say, TWF is extremely happy to have Stu heading up the sales team.
When not slinging barrels at TWF, Stu is drinking crisp whites, wimpy Pinots, earthy Rhones and sledgehammer Cabs all while building his collection of soul records and lamenting the Chicago Cubs. Alongside his wife, Shelley, Stu is a self proclaimed film geek and popcorns to the movie theater more than 50 times each year