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THE ANDIS TEAM

The goal of Andis is bringing together a great team to make great wine. Amador County offers the canvas for great wines, and she also gave us the gift of a dynamic team.

Andrew Friedlander

Co-Founder & Marine Corp Veteran

One great night in Amador was enough for Andy to move his Aloha shirts to the Sierra Foothills where he could enjoy the unique wines and flavors of Amador County. After fifty years in Hawaii where he co-founded and built the largest commercial real estate company in the state, and while still actively involved with the business today, Andy started planning the next phase of his life.

He is now the driving force behind Andis Wines, having built the winery and a great team of people to grow for decades. Andy hand-picked a group of quality people to make great wines and to offer the finest hospitality to our guests.

Andy Friedlander
 
Janis Akuna

Janis Akuna

Co-Founder

Janis Akuna is a Certified Financial Planner and Financial Advisor with a prominent Wall Street firm. With her time split between Hawaii and California, she will at times be seen in the Andis tasting room where she loves meeting people, or be seen doing various chores around the winery.

Janis oversees the operational and philanthropic activities, contributes to the marketing effort, and sits on the tasting/blending panel. With an undergraduate degree from UC Davis, she claims the winery business is in her blood, mostly through osmosis. Janis has an MBA from the University of Hawaii, and most recently, attended the UC Davis Executive Wine Program. Read the UC Davis Alumni Profile.

 

Jenae Plasse

Chief Operating Officer

A native daughter of Amador County, Jenae grew up on the family cattle ranch in Jackson where she gained a love for agriculture. After receiving her B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2005, Jenae interned at a couple of Central Coast wineries including Edna Valley Winery working in the cellar and learning wine production. Two years later she joined a marketing firm in Paso Robles before moving back to Amador in 2009 with the belief that Amador wine country was where she wanted to make her mark.

Joining the Andis team in July 2012, Jenae is now responsible for the day-to-day operations of the winery including bookkeeping, purchasing, community relations, events, marketing & advertising. If the opportunity presents itself, she will "escape" to the back of the house to get out of the office chair and enjoy the production side of winemaking. If you can't get ahold of her, she's most likely helping the family on the ranch or enjoying the serenity of the mountains with her dog where there's no internet or cell phone service.

 
Lorenzo

Besmir "Lorenzo" Muslia

National Sales Manager

Lorenzo grew up between Albania and Italy. After graduating from the Jesuit High School, he attended the Polytechnic University of Milan studying Civil Engineering. It was his travels around the wine region of Tuscany that caused him to fall in love with cooking and wine. He soon realized that for him, wine was not just a liquid in a bottle, but a way of life. After working for famous Florentine restaurants, he decided to open his own in 2011 and was soon rated one of the top ten restaurants in the region.

In 2013 his beautiful daughter was born, and the family moved to California where Lorenzo then enrolled in the Wine Business Management program at Sonoma State University.

"It was a bottle of the 2012 Andis Cabernet Franc that got me hooked on this land" he says. In the summer of 2015, Lorenzo joined the Andis team as a tasting room attendant and was soon promoted to National Sales Manager. He works directly with the winemaking team, putting together the best wines that our vineyards can offer. Every day is a challenge, finding new outlets for Andis Wines and sharing Amador's history with folks all over the country.

"Great wines taste like they come from somewhere. Lesser wines taste like they could come from anywhere".

 
 
 

A DAY IN THE LIFE WITH LORENZO

Our national sales manager Besmir "Lorenzo" Muslia shares his passion for being a part of the Andis Wines team.

 

OUR WINEMAKING TEAM

A distinctive wine consulting company specializing in small production, handcrafted high end wines - working collaboratively with the owners of family wineries who are dedicated to producing world-class wines.

From scouting vineyard sites to developing barrel programs to winemaking equipment selection to participating in winery construction in collaboration with architects, Atelier Melka specializes in working with winery owners and winemakers to create a strategy for each client's individual needs

Philippe Melka : Winemaker / Founder

Like the celebrated wines on which he’s built his reputation, Philippe Melka’s career has been influenced by soil.

A native of Bordeaux, Melka grew up intrigued by the intricacies of the land around him. When it came time for college, he acted on his childhood interests, earning a degree in Geology at the University of Bordeaux. A class in winemaking in his final year was a turning point, propelling him to earn a Master’s degree in Agronomy and Enology.

Maayan Koschitzky : Director of Winemaking

Maayan has amassed an impressive winemaking resume spanning from the vineyards of Israel to Screaming Eagle and Dalla Valle here in the Napa Valley,Working alongside some of the top winemakers and among the most coveted terroirs in the world.

In 2014 Maayan Joined Atelier Melka. He brings a dynamic array of talents to the Melka team.With a background in Engineering and years of experience in both wineries and vineyards, Maayan plays a multifaceted role at Atelier Melka involved not only in winemaking and operations but design and implementation of winery development for clients.

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