Geoff Labitzke, MW

General Manager
Hamel Family Wines

Geoff Labitzke is the General Manager overseeing sales, marketing, and business operations at Hamel Family Wines. Geoff came to the winery with over 40 years of experience in the wine industry including stints at retail, wholesale and winery operations. Prior to coming to Hamel, Geoff was Director of Sales for Kistler Vineyards.

Geoff began his career as a retailer in Southern California in 1978. In 1983 Geoff became Director of Marketing at Hi-Time Cellars. He organized the Newport Harbor Art Museum’s wine auction and wrote a weekly wine column for the Orange County Daily Pilot.

In 1986, Geoff went to work for Wine Warehouse, a Los Angeles based fine wine and beer wholesaler. Geoff attained the Certified Wine Educator credential in 1989 from the Society of Wine Educators. He would later serve on the Society’s board of Directors and he chaired the annual conference held in Sonoma. In 1989, Geoff also earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing at the California State University, Fullerton.

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In 2000, Geoff became the Imports Manager for Young’s Market Company. There he oversaw imported wine sales for the state of CA and directed wine and sales education for the entire company. In 2006, Geoff was one of two Americans to pass the rigorous Master of Wine examination. In 2016 Geoff attained his MBA from Sonoma State University.

Geoff remains dedicated to the world of wine. He serves on the advisory board for SommCon, a semiannual Wine conference held in Washington DC and San Diego. Geoff also served as Vice Echanson Des Jeunes Sommeliers. In 2020, Geoff was a founding board member of the United Sommeliers Foundation. The newly formed non-profit organization raised over $960,000 for over 1000 American sommeliers in dire financial need due to COVID.19. This Foundation will continue its philanthropic efforts with sommeliers in need going forward.