' Meet The Team - Helwig Winery

Meet The Team

Seth Norris, Tasting Room & Wine Club Manager

Seth was born and raised in California; he grew up in Lodi and currently resides in beautiful Amador County. Lucky for him he's been in wine country his entire life! He went to high school locally at Argonuat High and is currently pursuing his degree in Business Management. Seth came to Helwig in 2013 and has worked in every department since he's been here. He started out in events, then worked his way into the Tasting Room, had a stint in production and is now our Tasting Room Manager. This has made him very well rounded in all aspects of Helwig operations. When he's not in the Tasting Room, you can find him on the golf course, either out of bounds or in the sand trap.

For any questions about the Tasting Room, please contact Seth at seth@helwigwinery.com.

Kathleen Mahan, Director of Events and Culinary Services

Professional, creative, fun and outgoing are just some of the words that describe Kathleen. Born in Atlanta and primarily raised in California, Kathleen enjoyed life growing up in beautiful Northern California. Upon graduating from Oak Ridge High School, she moved to Southern California where she graduated from the Design Institute of San Diego with her BA in Interior Design and Fine Arts.

During college and for the next several years, Kathleen ran her own   high-end residential interior design firm in San Diego. She was a Member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). In 2006, she decided to broaden her focus after helping several design clients with their own private events and weddings, and entered the events world. Much like interior design, her skill at working with clients, running jobs, allocating tasks and meeting both deadlines and budgets, fit seamlessly into her new career. Kathleen has been Events Manager at Helwig Winery since they opened.

For any questions about Events or Weddings, please contact Kathleen at kathleen@helwigwinery.com.

Kathleen is Past President of the Sacramento Chapter of National Association for Catering and Events (NACE).

Cheryl Speed, Accounting & Musical Events

Before coming to Helwig Winery, Cheryl spent 25 years as a business owner offering bookkeeping, payroll preparation, software instruction and office organizational services. Cheryl's client relationships and friendships developed throughout the Shenandoah Valley, Amador County, as well as Sacramento County, made it possible for her to assist in the accounting structure that is needed here at Helwig Winery and other entities.

Orchestrating the musical side of events at the winery has provided Cheryl with some new and exciting challenges that promise to be an asset to our community for enjoyment and relaxation. Helwig Winery has given her a change of pace and an opportunity to be a part of an exciting winery that has so much to offer for everyone.

On a personal side, farming and providing quality wine grapes to the community have also been educational processes that have provided her with awareness that is needed in the vine-to-wine experience. The opportunities of working with a variety of vineyard owners and mentors have provided Cheryl and her family many lifetime and priceless experiences that have made them who they are today. Cheryl can be contacted at cheryl@helwigwinery.com.

Cory Holbrook, National Sales Manager

Cory's experience in the wine industry goes all the way back to the 1990's where he was the proprietor of a winery in Santa Ynez. He sold that winery to a large corporation and moved on to his own smaller more manageable label where he specialized in Santa Barbara Rhone varietals. His heart strings later pulled him into owning a couple of restaurants where he was able to pair his love for great food and great wine, earning the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Later, after a couple of years of winery consulting, Cory happily settled into the Sierra Foothills to work for Helwig Winery in 2013.
If you have any questions about outside sales, Cory can be reached at cory@helwigwinery.com.

Gail Shaw, Assistant Wine Club Manager

Gail joined the team in September 2014. After living in the UK and travelling the world for 10 years, Gail came back to her roots in Northern California. She enjoys wines from all over the world, but especially Amador County wines. In addition to managing the office, Gail plays a vital role in working with the wine club and its members. She can be found in the Tasting Room on wine club release weekends or sometimes on weekdays as a back-up Tasting Room Host. When Gail is not at the winery, she enjoys spending time with her dog, Barney, and working on the family ranch.

If you give us a call, you are likely to talk to Gail.  You can also reach her by email at gail@helwigwinery.com for any wine club or general questions.

Lewis Willis, Assistant Tasting Room Manager

Lewis has been with us since the very first day we opened and has been an integral part of the team since! He and his wife Jerrilynn have lived locally since 2011. Lewis cultivated his love of wine while working as the Beverage Department Manager at World Market in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he was born and raised. Every once in a while his roots will kick in and you’ll hear that Bayou babble emerge.

Call to reserve a tour of our gorgeous estate, including the 5,000 square foot wine cave, with Lewis today. He can be reached at Lewis@helwigwinery.com.

Jack Carroll, Private Tasting Manager

Originally from New York, Jack has been in wine in California for the past 15 years. As our resident wine aficionado since 2013, Jack has spent extensive time studying wine both domestically as well as abroad. He is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to wine history, origins, flavor profiles and anything else wine related you can think of. When he is not doing the wine thing, you will find Jack traversing Northern California, fishing pole in hand, hunting for that next monster trout. Jack hosts all of our Private Tastings and Food & Wine Pairings.

If you are interested in hanging with Jack and talking wine, he can be reached at htr@helwigwinery.com

Kim Guttormsen, Kitchen Manager at The Kitchen @ Helwig

After a successful career in the fitness industry in the Bay Area, Kim moved to beautiful Amador County in 2012. Wanting to follow her love of cooking and her dream of becoming a chef, she dove into the restaurant life. She learned the skills she needed from wonderful mentors as she worked long hours, nights, weekends, and holidays. Through these experiences, she was led to Helwig Winery. She knew this was her dream job from day one! She enjoys the people here and sharing her love of food with all of Helwig’s wine-loving customers.

Kim specializes in cooking comfort food with a fresh California twist. Her secret passion is making desserts, especially with caramel!

When she’s not working as a chef in The Kitchen @ Helwig, she likes to spend time with her husband kayaking, hiking, and snowshoeing; anything to take advantage of the beautiful mountains where they live.