Lauren Feldman | Partner
Lauren was born and raised between Sonoma and Santa Rosa in Sonoma Valley. Her studies took her to Indiana, Italy, and then New York, where she became immersed in the food and wine world. Her professional background is in wine sales and branding with an emphasis on restaurant beverage direction + management, winery hospitality + management, brand development and event production. With over a decade of hospitality and beverage management experience, Lauren has managed restaurants & wine lists from New York (L’Artusi, Anfora, west~bourne), to Nashville (Husk), and back to her native California (Molina, CALA).
In 2010, Lauren returned to Sonoma County to develop a closer connection to wine production, starting with launching the hospitality program at Scribe Winery, where she managed the tasting room and events for 4 years. As a harvest intern at Foradori Winery in 2014, Lauren affirmed her passion for biodynamic practices and natural winemaking. In 2015 she started SurPointe, where—with a focus on like-minded producers—she has launched wine brands, grown restaurant beverage programs, and overseen creative collaborations bridging the divide between wine and hospitality communities nationwide. In 2016 she oversaw the creative development and implementation at Napa newcomer Ashes & Diamonds as Director of Sales and Marketing. That same year she received her WSET Diploma certification.
After juggling many roles and tasks at once, Lauren is eager to bring her varied skills together to build a program and community in Sonoma, the town where she was raised and has again called her home for the past 9 years.
Emma Lipp | Partner
Emma grew up in Napa, a literal child of the wine industry, and started working in restaurants at 17. She worked in cafes, coffee shops, family restaurants and late night dives before landing at the wine-focused Navarre in Portland, Oregon and being bitten by the wine bug herself. Harvest at Antica Terra in the Willamette Valley was followed by years in NYC as a lead server at Prune, and part of the opening team at Estela.
During her time in New York, she spent two years assisting David Tanis, the long-time former Chez Panisse chef, with his weekly New York Times column “City Kitchen” and the production of his cookbook One Good Dish. She also helped launch the first sustainable fish market in NYC, Mermaid’s Garden, and produce the North Fork pop-up turned Manhattan restaurant Houseman. These experiences all inspired her to start her own project, the ceviche stand Loncheria, which was based at her neighborhood farmer’s market and catalyzed the desire to cook for her community.
In 2014, Emma moved to Sonoma to join the team at Scribe Winery. Over her five and half years there, she directed the culinary program’s growth from its rustic origins to the renowned destination it is today. She developed an in-house culinary team, formed systems for producing events of all sizes, and transitioned the food components of the Scribe wine tasting to be a touchstone that has reached hundreds of thousands of guests. Interfacing with the onsite garden, learning from guest chefs through a residency program and creating a joyful, sustainable work environment for her colleagues have all been proud accomplishments. During this time she has also consulted for Napa wine bar Cadet’s culinary menu and catered for weddings, parties and art events.
All of these experiences have cemented for Emma the importance of food and wine as cultural connectors, and the integral role that place plays in that exchange.
Stephanie Reagor | Partner
Stephanie Reagor began her career as restaurant professional over ten years ago. Leading up to her role as co-chef and managing partner at Valley, she has cooked in a wide range of high caliber kitchens and learned from some of the country’s finest chefs and restaurateurs.
Upon graduating from culinary school in Chicago in 2007, Stephanie began cooking under the tutelage of Paul Kahan at his contemporary American restaurants Blackbird and The Publican. She immersed herself in the process of learning the skills and techniques necessary to succeed in restaurants that held the classic and the modern in equal esteem. Informed by the core values of the chefs above her, she began to understand the importance of mindful sourcing and cooking with the seasons.
After moving to New York in 2010, Stephanie went on to work in a variety of now classic restaurant kitchens such as Prune and the Spotted Pig. Her most profound evolution as a chef came during her many years under the mentorship of Andrew Tarlow at his family of food businesses including Roman’s, Marlow and Daughters, and Diner. She continued to deepen her commitment to sustainable and ethical product sourcing, nurturing relationships with local farmers and artisans while focusing her menus on seasonality and taste. She went on to consult on a handful of like-minded restaurant projects, including Hart’s and Cervo’s in NYC.
After over a decade in big city kitchens, Stephanie came to Sonoma to in search of inspiration and new surroundings. Enamored by the energy of Northern California’s rustic beauty and natural bounty, she realized there is no better place to create and serve delicious food and decided to stay. Stephanie is excited to lay down Sonoma roots with a casual but considered culinary approach, and a deep commitment to hospitality and community building.
Tanner Walle | Partner
Tanner Walle’s career in hospitality spans over a decade, with rolls as both GM and beverage manager for some of New York City’s most well-known wine establishments. Most notably, under the guide and mentorship of James Beard Award-winning sommelier Paul Grieco, Tanner oversaw operations and hospitality at Terroir wine bars, a quintessential helm for both aspiring and veteran wine professionals alike. There, Tanner would help to craft and pioneer a wine and hospitality program many restaurants and wine bars still model today.
In 2015 he orchestrated the opening of The Riddling Widow, a discrete Champagne bar frequented primarily by winemakers and other industry pros.
Beyond restaurant work, Tanner spent much of his tenure in NYC as a consultant for many large-scale wine and hospitality events, including with NBC, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, PBS and LinkedIn. Tanner would also contribute on panels for NY Champagne Week, Social Media Week and New York Cider Week.
Tanner is excited to bring his New York City expertise and love for hospitality and beverage education to the community of Sonoma.