Maria – Hospitality Training and Small Winery Coaching

Maria Newman based out of Napa, California, specializes in hospitality training and small winery coaching both online and in-person. Born in Napa and working in the wine industry since 2002, Maria has formed long-term relationships with visitor center managers and concierges throughout wine country. In addition, she was instrumental in developing the Napa Valley Hospitality Forum – an organization that provides continued education and monthly networking opportunities for winery managers and owners. In March 2018, Maria launched her career as an independent consultant and is passionate about helping winery teams establish hospitality standards and staff training programs to better engage with a variety of consumers and brand loyalists. Winery teams throughout the US, Canada and Australia can engage with Maria on a project-by-project basis either online or in person. Watch for her live web trainings coming to DTC Wine Workshops in November 2018!


As the Director of Hospitality and Marketing at Ehlers Estate, Saint Helena, CA, Maria hired and managed the “Dream Team” for eight years as she oversaw the wine club, tasting room and direct consumer sales division. Maria was responsible for ensuring that every guest felt special.  Whether first-time visitors to the Napa Valley or return visitors to the tasting room, guests were treated to experiences tailored to their unique interests. Maria trained her team on best practices for “Delivering the Unexpected” and this sometimes meant making reservations at a hot spot restaurant or creating a custom wine weekend itinerary.

“I’m passionate about creating experiences that aren’t being offered elsewhere,” explains Maria. For example, the “Start Your Day” tasting at Ehlers Estate, featuring croissants from Bouchon Bakery and an early morning tour of the vineyards, was developed by Maria. In addition to Maria’s strong sense of leadership at Ehlers Estate, she also designed the tasting room’s warm, welcoming décor and visitor spaces. Maria describes the Ehlers Estate experience as a love story – one rooted in Jean and Sylviane Leduc’s love for one another, for fine wine, and for the land of Ehlers Estate that allowed them to finally live their winemaking dreams.

Prior to her time at Ehlers Estate, Maria helped two notable wine brands open their visitor centers, establish direct to consumer wine sales divisions and launch wine club membership programs. During her time at Jessup Cellars in Yountville, CA Maria assisted the owner in selection of retail staff and direct to consumer technologies. While managing 30 events annually, Maria developed meaningful relationships with members of the press and community leaders. Maria was also instrumental in developing direct sales strategies and hospitality partnerships at Elizabeth Spencer Wines in Rutherford, CA.


  • Hospitality Standards Development
  • Frontline Staff Training and Curriculum Development
  • Small Winery DTC Strategic Planning
  • Visitor Experience Development
  • Luxury Wine Sales Consulting
  • Hospitality Partnering and Referral Program Development
  • Consumer Event Development


To schedule an introductory call, contact [email protected].