Nichole Healey-Finn Wine Club Manager/Enologist
Nichole’s journey into the wine industry starts in the late ’80s running around the Pesenti vineyards in diapers. It wasn’t until her teenage years she learned hands-on experience from her dad. Being grounded in her household came in the form of going to work in the vineyards. Depending on the time of the year, it could be pruning, suckering, thinning, or bird netting. As her senior year rolled around, Kevin finally asked her what she wanted to do with her life? The answer was ‘this’ standing in Carly’s Vineyard at Bella Luna.
In the fall of 2004, Nichole started in the Enology and Viticulture program at Fresno State. She worked in the research lab under Dr. Wample, the department chair. She found herself in the vineyards all over the central valley, experimenting with new technology to help vineyard managers improve fruit quality. She was also actively involved in the Viticulture and Enology Society clubs on campus. Nichole graduated in the spring of 2010 with a BS in Enology.
In the fall of 2010, Nichole traveled to the Santa Maria valley to work at Tantara Winery to see the difference between Pinot Noir clones. While working at Tantara, Nichole sent her resume to the southern hemisphere to do a spring harvest in 2011. Her resume landed in Larry Cherubino’s hands, and she ended up with an internship at Wise Winery in Eagle Bay, Western Australia. This harvest is what changed her life. She also fell head over heels for her housemate, Lukas. After coming home, and missing her flight by a day, she announced she wanted to go back to Australia. A couple of months later, Lukas flew out from Australia with an extra return trip ticket in hand. Nichole and Lukas tied the knot in January 2012 on the beach in Western Australia. That February, they went to work together at 3 Oceans, where Lukas had been working since 2007. They made it through harvest together and continued working together for the next four years. Every other year Lukas and Nichole would return to Bella Luna to help her dad with harvest. This was Nichole’s way of finding her passion for winemaking, which can quickly get smothered at a large facility.
In 2015, they welcomed their first daughter, Stevie Ray Finn. For Stevie’s 1st Birthday, they came to California to meet the American side of her family and help out with harvest as she was born in September. At that time, Sherm and Kevin presented them with an opportunity of a lifetime, a chance to be part of the family business. After two long and grueling years dealing with immigration, Lukas was approved to come to live in America.
In August of 2018, Nichole worked her first harvest since becoming a mom and felt right at home in the cellar, doing what she loves. Nichole’s dream is to plant a dry-farmed vineyard with her dad, which came true as we planted “Kevin’s Vineyard” in 2020. She is also excited to collaborate on the “Estate Riserva,” Carly’s Vineyard with her dad to see if they can make the wine he has been chasing for the last 20 years.