What gets your family in the holiday spirit?  Some of our staff share the traditions that make their celebrations extra special.

Cate Lever (Cellar Master): My family has a fun Christmas morning tradition that we have named the “Lever Olympics.” After my grandfather passed away 10 years ago, we started this tradition to honor and showcase his love of good ole friendly competition. Christmas Morning (after breakfast/gift exchange), we divide into teams and compete in a series of mini-competitions, each of which is scored. Each team has to work together and utilize each family member’s unique talents. While the relay race is the main event, we also have a trivia challenge and a few other fun games that vary from year to year.

Katie Santora (Winemaker): Every Christmas Eve, we go to a family friends house to celebrate his birthday, Santa comes, and we eat dinner.  After that, though, as we have gotten older, we go back to my parent’s house and find that the elves have stopped by!  They leave us pajamas or socks or some funny shirt and a new board game.  We usually put on whatever they leave that year, make a cocktail, get a glass of wine and then play the board game until the early morning.  It usually ends in lots of laughs and a few headaches the next day.  But of all the traditions that have come and go, this one is one of my favorites.  It isn’t about presents- what you give or get but more about being together as a family.

Alex Donovan (Director of Consumer Sales): Growing up, my family had the tradition of homemade Bouillabaisse the Sunday before Christmas, with my dad’s side of the family. The smell of saffron would radiate through the home, which is one of the biggest memories of it all. To accompany the soup, my grandma would get takeout pizza, which added a novel twist. After my father’s passing, the tradition evolved into pizza and crab legs. I am excited this year to bring back the family tradition with my mom, sister, and husband and looking forward to continues the family Bouillabaisse tradition for years to come to pass down to my future children.


Michelle Fritts (Business Development): Traditionally, holidays are about family, friends, and food. One holiday food that never leaves our table celebration is gnocchi. My mom and I have a family favorite recipe made every Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter….they are light, little potato dumplings that all in the family look forward to. Buon Natale!


Jolene Jordan-Laflin (Tasting Room Associate): A tradition my family has every holiday season is getting a Christmas tree. Since I can remember early December, my family and I trek out to a local tree farm. I always insist on getting a huge tree. This year I managed to convince my family we needed an 11ft tree. The fun part is always after trying to get it in the house and setting it up and watching it fall over three or four times. Once it’s up, we always love pulling ornaments out and talking about the stories behind them.