meet the team

Desmond
Echavarrie

Entrepreneur and Master Somm on a mission to share dynamic wine brands
More About Des

kelly
stetins

Hospitality and operations guru engaging her passion for the wine business
More About Kelly 

bryan
lipa

A midwesterner who
followed his dream to
the Napa Valley
More About Bryan

jason
heller

Master Sommelier and vintner in constant pursuit of the world's greatest wines 
More About Jason

DESMOND ECHAVARRIE

By the time Des Echavarrie was 30, he’d accomplished more than many sommeliers achieve in a lifetime of service. He won the Chaine des Rotisseurs Best Young Sommelier U.S. competition in 2004 at age 22 and the U.S. Top New Somm competition in 2011. In 2012, after nearly nine years of study and exams, Des became the 197th person to earn the title of Master Sommelier. Des’s love for wine began after college while working at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale. He secured an apprenticeship under Greg Tresner, MS and knew before he was old enough to legally drink that he would dedicate his life to learning about and sharing great wine. During his career as a sommelier he earned coveted spots on the wine teams of legendary restaurants.

In 2011, he took a position at The French Laundry and passed the MS exam the following year. After a year spent as senior wine advisor for rare wine merchant Soutirage, Des was ready to work on the producer side of the equation and joined Realm Cellars as Director of Sales in 2014. Successfully managing both wholesale and direct sales at Realm for several years gave Des the experience and confidence to embark on his own entrepreneurial endeavor. He launched Scale Wine Group in August of 2016. With a mission to help small dynamic wineries elevate their brand through wholesale strategy Scale Wine Group now represents twelve wine producers from Northern California.
   

Kelly stetins

Kelly's contribution to Scale cannot be overstated. As Director of Operations, she is responsible for helping build momentum for our wines while paying great attention to every detail of our business. Her diligent acumen and infectious conviviality allow Scale to operate at a very high level. 

Coming from a long line of hospitality professionals, Kelly started her career in high school working at the Country Club in Palm Dessert where her father was then managing. Her love of guest service and club management led her to study Hotel Administration at UNLV. During college Kelly helped manage the Spanish Trail Country Club and the Stirling Club in Las Vegas. In 2009 she assumed a prestigious post as the Assistant Clubhouse Manager for the University Club of Chicago. Kelly now lives in Napa with her husband Ryan, a local restaurateur and sommelier.
   

bryan lipa

As partner in Scale, Bryan brings more than 16 years of experience in hospitality management and a decade of knowledge purchasing wine for luxury hotels and restaurants.  For Scale Wine Group, he represents organic, small production, Northern California wineries by bringing them to market in front of the best wine buyers in the country.

Prior to joining Scale Wine Group, Bryan served as the National Sales Director for Staglin Family Vineyard. In this role, he increased FOB sales in 45 national and international markets by identifying the best partners for distribution, developing unique marketing programs, and strengthening top tier account relationships.

Bryan was also a member of the sommelier team at Thomas Keller’s three-star Michelin restaurant, The French Laundry, in Yountville, whose wine list is recognized with a Grand Award, the highest honor from Wine Spectator.

Before moving to Napa Valley, Bryan was the general manager of Gerard Craft’s restaurant Niche in St. Louis.

Bryan is a Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers and he holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Missouri—St. Louis.      
   

JASON HELLER

Jason is the newest partner of Scale Wine Group, having joined the team after spending nearly a decade working with some of the world’s most highly-regarded California producers, including Harlan Estate, Bond Estates, Promontory and, most recently, Dana Estates as Director of Sales and Marketing.

His career with wine began in Hawaii, where he first tasted an older bottling of Domaine de la Romanée Conti and gained experience working for both Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants as well as restaurants in Honolulu.

In the early 2000’s, Jason moved to Napa Valley, where he managed the beverage program at Thomas Keller’s one-star Michelin bistro, Bouchon, and later took over as the wine director for Redd just down the street in Yountville, Calif.  

Jason earned the coveted title of Master Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2011, and since then he has become one of the most respected sommeliers and wine educators in the world. While working his way towards this achievement, he was recognized as the Top New Somm at TOP|SOMM in 2010 and Best New Sommelier by Wine & Spirits Magazine in 2009.  He was also awarded the Rudd Scholarship and the first-place prize at the 2009 National Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Sommelier National Finals.

In addition to his role with Scale Wine Group, Jason is also a partner in Band of Vintners, a Napa Valley wine project producing Cabernet Sauvignon founded by seven of the county’s most notable tastemakers.

Before immersing himself into the hospitality industry, Jason graduated from Hawai’i Pacific University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration—Marketing.