Kevin Healey - Owner
In 1970, after serving in the Army during the Vietnam war, Kevin returned home. He decided he needed a "sabbatical from civilization," so he took up residence on a large vineyard in the hills of Adelaida to reflect, as he puts it. There he learned all the aspects of viticulture from seasoned dry farmer, Mel Casteel. Kevin developed a love and respect for the way Mel nurtured his head-pruned vineyard. Kevin spent roughly 10 years there honing his skills as an organic viticulturalist and learning how to make wine. He would make table wines, fruit wines, desert wines - just about anything worth fermenting, Kevin was compelled to master.
Later, Kevin was offered a position with family owned Pesenti Vineyard and Winery. There he gained knowledge with head-training and maintaining mature zinfandel vines from one of the founders of Pesenti Winery, patriarch Frank Pesenti. While working there, he developed a long-lasting friendship with Frank Nerelli, Pesenti's winemaker. As their mutual respect grew, they worked closely marrying vineyard and winery techniques, producing some of the most sought after wines in California.
Kevin worked as Pesenti's vineyard manager and assistant winemaker for some 19 years until the winery was sold in 2000. Now, Kevin devotes most of his time to Bella Luna Winery and the estate vineyard. He continues to be one of the most sought after consultants specializing in the art of dry-farm viticulture and natural yeast fermentations.