Blackwell’s Wines & Spirits was established in 2004 by husband and wife team Gary and Dita Blackwell with the goal of creating an approachable and enjoyable wine buying experience. We have curated a truly special selection of wine, spirits and beer – products we know our customers are seeking, as well as those gems that have yet to be discovered by the masses. We are a store of enthusiasts that cater to enthusiasts – yes, we “geek out” on this stuff!
Whether selecting bottles for a special event, Tuesday night meat loaf or a sought after bottling – we strive to provide each customer with impeccable and personal service.
Additionally we have regularly scheduled beer and wine tastings to give our customers the opportunity to taste through our rotating inventory and discover new favorites!
The seeds for Dita’s love of wine were planted by her father, nurtured by her “year in Provence” and travels throughout Europe during college, and blossomed post-college with countless trips to wine country and wine store explorations. Shortly after meeting Gary, hobby turned into career. For more than a decade Dita and Gary have worked together, sharing their enthusiasm for all things fermented and distilled with customers.
Dita holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and a B.S. in Business Administration from Cal Poly, SLO. In her downtime, she enjoys spending time with her family, trying not to kill every plant in her garden, and volunteering at her son’s school.
While Gary hails from the land of Muscadine wine, his tastes have evolved over the years. German Rieslings and Bordeaux were his “gateway” wines, however travels and tastings over the last three decades have led him to develop special affections for Burgundy, Champagne, Tokaji, Bourbons and Armagnac. Gary’s entrepreneurial nature is a perfect fit for the continually evolving habits of the beverage industry – always on the hunt for new finds and trends to share with his customers.
Gary left a 14+ year career in finance to start his dream and open Blackwell’s Wines & Spirits. He holds an MBA from Dominican University and a B.A. in Art & Society from World College West. In his free time, Gary enjoys spending time with his family, cycling and reading.
Sava began his introduction into the world of wine and spirits as a teen growing up in Marin County. His father, along with a family friend, acquired Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from a Sonoma grower, and for multiple vintages succeeded in bottling award winning wines. This hobby inspired Sava to pursue a career in the wine industry. Sava went on to study at the prestigious Viticulture and Enology program at UC Davis. Not limiting his focus to just the vineyards, Sava was also a part of the university track and field team, setting several records as a long jumper and sprinter. In his professional career, Sava has worked three harvests at some of Napa and Sonoma’s top wineries. His decision to join the team at Blackwell’s was to expand his experience to the consumer side of the business…life of the bottle after the bottling line. Sava is enjoying getting to know customer palates and helping find happy homes for all the bottles in the shop.
Emilio’s roots in fine tonics were established in northern California, where he was born and raised. These roots then flourished during his time studying at the University of Oregon in Eugene, a place where craft beer is more of a lifestyle than a pastime. Aside from long walks on the beach, Emilio enjoys IPAs, Red Ales, Italian reds, and good whisky – all of which he believes couple perfectly with traveling and watching sports.
Stefanie's love of wine is a passion as organic to her as breathing. Having cut her teeth in the industry at numerous wineries and retailers, her experience includes roles in marketing, winemaking, hospitality and retail. However, it's winemaking that captured her heart, and retail that keeps her spirit zippy.
An award-winning winemaker, Stefanie has more than ten years of winemaking experience which includes production of her own label Virgo Cellars. As for retail, it's the daily connection with customers - putting the right bottle in the right hands, and developing long term relationships with customers and their palates - that gets her jazzed every day.
While Pastis would rather opt for Sauternes and Stilton, it’s kibble and water he gets. A fixture in the shop during the early years, the skateboards that would zip on occasion down the sidewalk in front of the store proved too much a temptation. Pastis now spends his afternoons sunning on the deck, while mulling over the current week’s Pastis’s Pick selection for the store.