Demeine Estates is delighted to announce that the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas™ has welcomed Heitz Cellar Estate Manager, Erik Elliott, to the organization. Erik is one of 10 people who have passed the qualifications to receive the title of Master Sommelier. The results were announced at the Krug reception on August 31, 2022 at the Royal Sonesta in Portland, Oregon.

“Studying wine has changed my life in so many ways and I feel so lucky to have completed this part of the process,” says Erik Elliott, Heitz Cellar Estate Manager. “While there were many challenges along the way, the relationships and support I received made it the experience of a lifetime. I can’t wait to pay it forward and I’m excited for the next chapter.

The Master Sommelier diploma is the highest honor a professional can achieve in the beverage service industry. The Master Sommelier Diploma exam consists of three sections: a verbal theoretical exam, a wine evaluation exercise using the deductive tasting method and a practical component focusing on hospitality, beverage service, sales and general business acumen. Candidates must receive passing grades in each section to earn the coveted title of Master Sommelier.

“I’m so proud of Erik for his hard work and achieving this special honor,” said Carlton McCoy, MS, managing partner of Lawrence Wine Estates. “It is a joy to see my close friend and colleague join the Cour des Maîtres Sommeliers. I watched him grow from bartender to sommelier, and eventually from hospitality manager to estate manager, while demonstrating his tireless work ethic and deepening his knowledge of fine wines and hospitality.

Erik has pursued his wine career, rooted in fine hospitality, from Philadelphia to the heart of the Napa Valley, focusing on creating wine programs that are both informative and elevated. After falling in love with hospitality and wine while working at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in Philadelphia, he sold everything he owned to move to Aspen, CO to pursue his dream of becoming a master sommelier. . Erik landed at The Little Nell, the world famous hotel and winery program at the base of Aspen Mountain. Erik spent six years in James Beard’s appointed wine program and worked his way up to become Head Sommelier. After his colleague Carlton McCoy Jr. accepted a position at Heitz Cellar following the acquisition of Gaylon Lawrence, Jr., Erik felt he had even more to learn and traded the mountains of Aspen for the vineyards of Napa Valley. In 2019, he accepted a position as Estate Manager at Heitz Cellar. While overseeing the design of Heitz’s new Tasting Lounge and Welcome Center, which opened in February 2022, Erik continually aims to improve the guest experience.

“We are delighted to have Erik join the Court of Master Sommeliers,” says Philana Bouvier, President of Demeine Estates. “Erik continues to prove that he is a consummate professional and passionate about fine wines who is leading Heitz Cellar into its new era. We couldn’t be more proud of his leadership and the inspiring example he sets for the next generation of wine sommeliers.

Based in the heart of Napa Valley, California Demeine Estates is a family business importing and marketing the world’s finest wines. A leader in luxury wines, Demeine Estates sets the standard for exceptional marketing, fine wine sales and distribution services. Founded by the Lawrence family and Carlton McCoy Jr., MS, and led by President Philana Bouvier, the Demeine Estates portfolio also includes national and international family producers who represent exceptional wines rooted in quality viticulture. For more information, visit


Founded in 1961, Heitz Cellar is a true Napa Valley legend that has helped shape the history of Napa Valley winemaking. Pioneering winemaker Joe Heitz ushered in the modern era of Napa with his world-famous signature wines, including Napa Valley’s first Cabernet Sauvignon-designated vineyard, the famed Heitz Cellar Martha’s Vineyard. In 2018, the winery entered an exciting new chapter as the Heitz family passed this rich heritage into the hands of the Lawrence family, whose deep roots in agriculture and commitment to the same core values ​​of winemaking fine made it a perfect match. With owners Gaylon M. Lawrence, Jr. and master sommelier Carlton McCoy, Jr. at the helm, the winery will continue to deliver wines in the quintessential Heitz style. Made with an unwavering commitment to quality from organic and biodynamic, 100% Napa Valley fruit, Heitz wines represent the Lawrences’ agrarian roots and commitment to Napa Valley stewardship. For more information on the Heitz winery, please visit

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