The Team


Milla Handley

Winemaker

Milla Handley

Milla Handley has spent many years creating her unique wine brand, true to a place and to a set of values.

After earning her Fermentation Science degree in 1975 at the University of California at Davis, Milla worked for winemakers Richard Arrowood at Chateau St. Jean and Jed Steele at Edmeades. In 1978 she headed to Anderson Valley, which was then largely uncharted viticultural territory, and established Handley Cellars in 1982. “I was captivated by the valley’s possibilities,” Milla says. “The people here possess an independent spirit, and I felt I could follow my own path, somewhat removed from the entrenched winemaking culture. I wanted my wines to capture the essence of this extraordinary place.” Thirty years later, Handley Cellars’ wines do just that.

The Handley Cellars label reflects Milla’s love and respect for nature. Her parents were collectors of tribal art, and she was raised in a household surrounded by objects reflecting the beauty of the natural world. When working on the design for the Handley Cellars label, she was inspired by the ancient tribal textiles of the African Kuba tribes. The tasting room décor, too, reflects her love of tribal art.

Milla’s commitment to responsible and organic farming began long before it was popular, and led her to obtain organic certification for the Handley Estate Vineyard in 2005. Every case the winery produces is crafted from grapes grown in the Handley family vineyards in Anderson Valley, or by trusted growers in Mendocino County appellations such as Anderson Valley, Mendocino Ridge, Potter Valley, and Redwood Valley.

Milla carefully balances the roles of proprietor and winemaker at Handley Cellars. She is involved in every aspect of the winery operation, from vineyards and wines to her unique tasting room. Milla’s down-to-earth nature makes Handley Cellars a welcoming and comfortable place.

Randy Schock

Co-Winemaker

Randy Schock

Randy has lived in Anderson Valley since 1998 with his wife Gina and their three sons, Paul, Owen, and Finn. His winemaking career began as assistant winemaker at Fieldstone in Alexander Valley. Before long, the opportunities and rural beauty of Anderson Valley led him to a harvest-time job with Navarro Vineyards and as winemaker at Philo Ridge Winery during its startup years. In 2004 Randy jumped at the opportunity to join Handley as our Cellar Master.

In 2013 Randy was promoted to Co-Winemaker where he thrives on making balanced wines that showcase the local terroir. He is dedicated to his work and appreciates that his career is closely tied to agriculture and the natural cycles of the seasons. Pleasing Handley customers is one of Randy’s greatest motivations.

Lisa Harrington

Outside Sales

Lisa Harrington

Lisa Harrington is a First-Level graduate of the Court of Master Sommeliers and a long-time veteran of the wine and restaurant world. Having made her way north from her hometown of Long Beach, California, through San Francisco and Napa Valley, she worked in the restaurant business with talented chefs like Bradley Ogden of One Market, Jan Birnbaum of Epic Roasthouse, and Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustard’s Grill.

She was Wine Director and Sommelier at the Todd Humphries/Pat Kuleto restaurant Martini House in St. Helena, where choosing great wines to complement food was a daily routine. She moved to Anderson Valley in late 2007 and came to Handley Cellars in October 2009. Lisa divides her time between consumer events and outside sales but occasionally you will find her in our tasting room too. She continues to enjoy and practice the art of wine and food pairing.

Andrea Lederle

National Sales Manager

Andrea Lederle

Andrea was raised in Boulder, Colorado, where she went to college and graduated with a degree in journalism and a minor in French. The pursuit of a wine job began after a year living in France, where she worked as an au pair and fell in love with the French language and culture. Her subsequent wine jobs included working as a bilingual sales assistant for a French wine importer, and several Bay Area sales jobs with distributors that eventually introduced her to Milla Handley’s portfolio of wines.

Andrea was captivated by the honest integrity of Handley wines and with the scenic natural beauty of Anderson Valley. As a giant fan of the wines of Burgundy in France, Anderson Valley’s focus on Pinot Noir was also alluring. Today she spends time at the winery but mostly travels the nation educating distributors, restaurant, and retail people about the attributes of Handley Cellars.

Linda Baker

Outside Sales

Linda Baker

Linda believes she was destined to be in the wine business. She remembers driving through wine country as a child on her way to a cousin’s summer cabin and marveling at the vineyards. For her 21st birthday, she hosted a wine tasting party, delighting in tasting and pairing wines with food.

Linda was raised in Oakland, California and attended college in Oakland and Berkeley. Her early career was in newspaper advertising but after 15 years she relocated to Anderson Valley, taking a summer job as a vegetarian cook at a local resort. After deciding not to return to the Bay Area, she began her Anderson Valley wine career.

Today she has garnered 28 years of experience in the wine industry with 10 of those years at Handley Cellars. Linda loves to travel and chronicles her worldly adventures with beautiful photographs that are often exhibited locally.

PJ Nielsen

General Manager

PJ Nielsen

PJ and her young son moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Anderson Valley in October 1985. In 1987, she was hired to help manage Handley’s winery operations, allowing Milla a greater focus on winemaking. With fifteen years of management experience in the airline industry, PJ was prepared to apply her skills to the wine business.

In addition to completing the Winery Management course at Sonoma State University, she has participated in just about every aspect of the trade: from sales to administration to production. She has even picked grapes and worked on the bottling line! (One of her favorite chores during crush is punching down the Pinot Noir.) In developing Handley Cellars’ commitment to responsible farming and environmentally-friendly business practices, PJ spearheaded the solar project that now powers the winery and oversaw the installation of a public charging station for electric vehicles.

Naomi Ansbergs

Social Media Marketing

Naomi Ansbergs

Naomi grew up in a picturesque coastal hamlet south of Boston. From an early age, she dreamed of riding west into the sunset. Naomi spent most of her youth in New England, graduating from Smith College with a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy. Her first job out of college landed her in the high desert of northeastern Utah, working with at-risk teens in a therapeutic wilderness program. In 2008, while visiting the Anderson Valley, she attended the Handley Holiday Open House with local friends and was captivated by the bucolic, unpretentious setting.

In 2012, she found her way to the kitchens at Handley Cellars, fulfilling a childhood dream of cooking food that connects people to a sense of place. Nowadays, she may be found behind a desk or darting around the cellar and vineyards taking photos, overseeing the Social Media project, and at various consumer events in the greater Bay Area. On occasion, she can still be found tending a pot on the stove, and creating new, imaginative wine and food pairings.

Travis Scott

Tasting Room Manager

Travis Scott

Travis grew up 30 miles away in Mendocino County’s inland Ukiah Valley. After moving away from Mendocino County for 10 years, Travis was lured back by the rustic, rural beauty of Anderson Valley, and the opportunity to work at a winery in a smaller community. He learned to appreciate full-flavored red wines with higher tannins and rich fruit, the styles and varietals commonly found in the inland valleys of Mendocino. Several of his personal go-to varietals include Zinfandel, Syrah, and Malbec. On the lighter side, one of his favorite pairings is sipping a Gewürztraminer or dry Riesling with spicy Thai food.

He brings his homegrown insight, wine knowledge, and sales experience to the Handley tasting room. His great passion is showcasing local products paired with Handley wines.

Efrain Garcia

Cellar Master

Efrain Garcia

Efrain began working in the vineyards and gardens of Handley Cellars in 1998. Eventually, his interest in winemaking drew him into the cellar where he assists the winemakers in essential winemaking duties: filtering lees, punching down tanks, performing lab tests, and making sure the cellar operates smoothly.

Efrain is a man of many talents. In his spare time he built the Handley chicken coop, often referred to as the “Hilton Hotel of Hen Houses”. Efrain enjoys construction projects, especially those that include backhoe work. His wife, Laura, is also a multi-talented Handley employee. They are raising two active boys, Jonathan and Kevin.

José Jimenez

Estate Vineyard Manager

José Jimenez

Since 1989, José has been Handley Cellars’ vineyard manager and is a chief member of our team. The Estate’s 30 acres of organically farmed Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Gewürztraminer vines are cared for and nurtured by José. He oversees and performs year ‘round duties of pruning, irrigation, weed control, replanting, leaf removal, and harvest…just to name a few.

José and wife Ester (another valued Handley employee) are originally from San Martin, a pueblo in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Anderson Valley has been their home for years, living on the Estate, and raising three lovely children.


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