Meet the Family

Mark & Laura Neal

Mark Neal is an organic and biodynamic farmer and winemaking evangelist. He has been walking the vineyards almost daily for over 54 years and is one of very few winemakers in Napa Valley who own, farm and manage their land and make their own wines. Mark also runs Jack Neal and Son (JNS) Vineyard Management, the business he entered to assist his father in 1968. JNS, with 420 employees, is the largest organic farming company in Napa and one of the largest biodynamic farming companies in the country, effectively making Mark Neal one of Napa Valley’s most influential grape growers. 

Mark’s passion for farming and winemaking started in 1966, when he began as a grower working alongside his parents on their Rutherford farm. His love of the land, working with family, and producing incredible wines was instilled early by his father. This upbringing inspired him, in 1998, to build Neal Family Vineyards. Today, Mark works with his wife, Laura, and several of his children as he handcrafts exquisite and complex Cabernet Sauvignon from his estate-certified organic vineyards in Howell Mountain and Rutherford.

Laura Neal has joined the family business and is putting her 25+ years of experience in business development, sales, and creating national strategic relationships to good use at the winery. Laura is also a passionate keynote speaker, Ironman triathlete, and a strong supporter of women in business.

Jessica Neal

Sales & Marketing Director, WSET3

Jessica is Mark Neal’s eldest and leads the charge as the third generation working at Neal Family Vineyards. She grew up on the Neal Family Estate and Winery and has walked the rows and worked alongside her father since she was very young.

Organic farming and winemaking are in her blood. By watching how hard her father and grandparents worked, she has learned a lot about what it takes to succeed in the viticulture and enology industry. After high school, she relocated to Southern California to attend Cal Poly Pomona, where she received a BS in Business Administration and Marketing Management.

While in college, she worked at a small wine shop in Claremont, Packing House Wines, where she discovered a passion for examining wines from around the world. She is studying to receive her WSET Diploma and currently holds a WSET Level 3 Award in Wines. When not working at the winery, she resides on Mee Lane in Rutherford in the family home in which her grandparents raised her father, Mark. Living on the family’s first vineyard, Rutherford Dust, allows her to garden, try her hand at beekeeping, and oversee various farm animals, including Sasha, the cow. She’s also an accomplished artist; guests can see some of her drawings in the Neal Family Tasting Room. 

Demitria Neal

Sales & Marketing, WSET

Demitria Neal is the 3rd of 5 children from Mark Neal. Demitria’s an integral part of the marketing and sales programming in the winery. Demitria has a passion for hospitality and was in the restaurant industry before going full-time with the family business. She values the farming and garden element along with the history of Neal Vineyards and has completed her first WSET. Demitria is regularly in the fields with Mark, learning about vineyards with her adored companion, white german shepherd, Kody


The family dog and Mark Neal’s sidekick in the vineyards.

Meet the Extended Family

Martin Mackenzie


Born and raised in New Zealand, Martin discovered his passion for wines and winemaking in his late 20s. He moved from Auckland to Hawkes Bay, where he studied Viticulture and Oenology at the Eastern Institute of Technology. 

Martin completed his first year as the top student and served his year-end internship at Waiheke Island’s Stonyridge Vineyard, an iconic organic red wine producer in New Zealand. At the end of his internship, he was offered the position of assistant winemaker. Martin worked at Stonyridge from 1999 through to late 2008, quickly rising through the ranks to become winemaker and general manager in 2007. Martin has a reputation for producing excellent wines, as shown by the Stonyridge Cabernet Sauvignon receiving 96 points from Wine Advocate. Most recently, Martin was at Petroni Vineyards in Sonoma. He will work closely with Mark Neal and Tony Biaggi to create small-production, handcrafted biodynamic wines.

Jeff Keene

Associate Winemaker

From curiosity to education, Jeff was lured into winemaking from grape & wine research combined with travel, food, and all the passionate people he has encountered in this industry. He earned a degree in Chemistry from the Auckland Institute of Technology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology from Lincoln University, New Zealand. Since then, he has gained over 20 years of winemaking experience in the Napa Valley at wineries such as Havens Wine Cellars, Cornerstone Cellars, Heitz Cellars and Robert Mondavi Winery. Jeff’s enthusiasm, passion and motivation is further invigorated at Neal Family Vineyards to produce wines of personality, elegance and finesse.

Tony Biagi

Consulting Winemaker

Consulting winemaker Anthony (Tony) Biagi is a fifth-generation Northern Californian and has worked closely with Mark Neal and his family for 20 years, first as the founding winemaker of Neal Family Vineyards (2001–2002), then as a purchaser of the organic fruit that Mark grows for both PlumpJack and Cade wineries (2003–2011) and then Hourglass Winery (2012 to present). In 2019, Mark asked Tony to consult and help Jessica Neal with operations and winemaker Martin Mackenzie with winemaking to maintain the high level of quality that is intrinsic to Neal Family Vineyards.

Mark Viter

Chief Financial Officer

Mark is the CFO at Neal Family Vineyards and Jack Neal and Son (JNS) Vineyard Management. He’s worked closely with Mark Neal for decades and is instrumental in driving operational effectiveness and efficiency across all businesses. 

Mark is an accomplished and inspirational financial leader with over several decades of experience acting as a CFO or controller in the wine industry. Before joining Neal Family Vineyards and JNS, Mark was the CFO for Copper Cane LLC and was integral in selling the Meiomi wine brand ($315M sales) to a publicly-traded company. Before that, he held controller positions at Caymus Vineyards and Heitz Wine Cellars, to name a few.

When not crunching numbers, Mark enjoys drinking wine with his beautiful girlfriend Michelle and his three adult sons. He’s a proud grandfather and likes to play volleyball, waterski and spend time on Southern California beaches.

Roberto Alfaro-Andrade

Vice President &
General Manager at JNS

Roberto started working for Jack Neal and Son in 2011 as part of a suckering crew, and he became a crew supervisor very quickly after that. Athene, Mark’s mom, was a huge fan of Roberto because of his deep appreciation for work, and he lovingly cared for her garden and flowers around the property. Athene told Mark to keep an eye on Roberto as she saw great potential in him. Mark later made Roberto a vineyard manager and, soon after, the general manager and vice president of JNS in 2018. Roberto continues to take excellent care of his work and crews and is now Mark’s right-hand man. 

Alex Kefalos

Assistant Estate Director

Alex joins the Neal Family Vineyards team after eight years in the hospitality industry, leading teams in both restaurant and hotel settings. After graduating from the University of Southern California, Alex leapt into the restaurant industry, joining the Bacari Restaurants team in Los Angeles. Beginning as a server and moving into roles as General Manager and Director of Operations, Alex oversaw the group’s growth from a single unit to a five-unit operation. After leaving the Bacari team in 2020, Alex sought opportunities in new sectors of the hospitality industry in the Napa Valley and held positions at Solage and Archer Hotel before joining Neal Family Vineyards. He is eager to share the Neals’ incredible story and superb wines with our guests. Alex lives just minutes from the winery, enjoying the serenity of Howell Mountain with his wife, Charlie, and their cat, Phyllis Seymour Hoffman.

We are and always will be workers. We will always have our hands on the vines.

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