Meet the Hospitality Team


Kristen Darnell

Employee Relations | Sales & Marketing | Number Cruncher

While Bill Armstrong was looking for a new receptionist at his "day job" in Denver, he was flipping through a pile of resumes and one stood out beyond all others: Bachelor degree from University of New Mexico, President of Pi Beta Phi sorority, Masters Degree from Harvard University, and willing to take an entry level position…Bill quickly decided to go with the "best athlete available" and after a few months, he realized Kristen skill set could be a real asset to his new project, Epoch.  He offered her the opportunity to move to Paso to open the tasting room at York Mountain, and Kristen enthusiastically stepped up to the plate!  Moving to Paso not only exposed her to the fabulous world of wine, but she found her husband, Craig, a few miles up the road in SLO and now they have a precious baby boy, Caden!  For Sales and Marketing inquiries or general questions regarding Epoch, Kristen is a great place to start.

Meredith Groshart

Entourage Relations | Release Captain | Owners’ Assistant

Although Bill first hired Meredith in 2010 to work for his Oil and Gas business in Denver, he quickly realized that her attention to detail, her can-to attitude, and her way with people would make her a rockstar at Epoch.  We can all thank Mere for our awesome Allocation system since she helped create it.  During our first few Releases, it was just Mere, her computer, and the phone, but as Epoch has grown, so have our Releases.  We now have a solid Release team, and with Mere as our “Captain,” our biannual Releases just keep getting better and better!  In her “spare time,” Mere is the best mommy to her two sons, Evan and Logan and wife to her husband, Stephen.  Contact Meredith with any Entourage or Release inquiries.

Lindsey (Armstrong) Strawn

Junior Owner | Sales & Marketing | Distribution

As Bill and Liz's oldest daughter, Lindsey has been an integral part of Epoch since its very first days - in true I Love Lucy fashion, she even stomped grapes with her bare feet during our first harvest!  A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Lindsey spent her first few years out of college in Finance and Education (yes, polar opposite industries, but both taught her a ton!) until she finally decided to make the life-long transition to the family business in 2013. Ü Lindsey married her husband, Ryan, on Paderewski Vineyard in 2014, and will never forget how special it was to share her happy place, Paso Robles, with her family and friends for the first time.  Lindsey has her hands in many pots, but you can contact her at lindsey@epochwines.com with inquiries about Distribution, Public Relations, and other Sales and Marketing questions.

Nicole Roberts

Tasting Room Manager

Having grown up in Napa, Nicole is no stranger to the world of wine.  Nicole graduated from Saint Mary's College of California where she earned a Degree in History.  While studying, her passion for wine led her to Artesa Vineyard in Napa where she worked in their Special Events Department.  We are so happy that experience ultimately led her to Epoch!  She and her husband, Brandon (an Epoch part-timer himself Ü), live down the road in Atascadero.  Lucky for us, the Roberts love Wine Tastings, so we always know what’s happenin’ in our peer wineries’ Tasting Rooms thanks to these two!  Nicole's enthusiasm, leadership, organization, and ability to make our visitors feel at home make her the natural choice for our Assistant Tasting Room Manager.  Contact Nicole for group appointments or TR questions.

Taylor Munks

Lab, Cellar, & Tasting Room Tech

Taylor came to Epoch from Starbucks where he was a barist, and assistant manager.  The transition from Skinny Vanilla Lattes to Syrah-based blends was easy, as wine has always been a part of Taylor's life (his Grandmother is Italian, so it’s in his blood).  Believe it or not, his first wine gig was actually at York Mountain winery, so Epoch is a coming home of sorts. Ü We are so thankful for Taylor’s attention-to-detail and friendly demeanor, as he makes visitors feel right at home in our Tasting Room.  Most recently, Taylor acted as one of our Harvest 2016 interns.  The production team was so impressed with his performance and natural instinct in the Winery (particularly the Lab), that we created an entirely new role for Taylor, one that will find him both in the Winery and the Tasting Room...the best of both worlds! Have a question about one of these worlds?  Ask Taylor!

Becky Long

Events Coordinator | Tasting Room Educator

Born and raised in Pacific Grove, CA, Becky made the journey to the central coast to attend Cal Poly.  Becky first discovered Epoch while working on a Senior Project about winery brand loyalty.  Epoch was one of the 20 wineries she studied, and lucky for us, we made an impression.  She then saw us on the list of potential internships for her Hospitality & Special Events major, and the rest is history!  Now Becky is a college grad (awarded “Outstanding Senior” by her department no less!) and a full-time member of our team.  We are so thankful to have Becky’s bubbly personality, enthusiasm, and vast event planning experience on our team!  Feel free to reach out to Becky with event inquiries.

Hallie Noel

Staff Accountant

Originally hired to work in Bill Armstrong’s Denver office, Hallie fell in love with Paso Robles on her first work trip to meet her Epoch co-workers.  Working on Accounting in Denver, we quickly realized Hallie’s assets would be extremely valuable in Paso.  Well, one thing led to another, and now we are SO happy to have Hallie with us in Paso full-time!  A native Cincinnatian, Hallie is enjoying exploring the West Coast, hiking and running through this beautiful region, and learning about the wine industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Braden Bautista

Tasting Room Educator 

Braden is a 4th year Wine and Viticulture student studying Enology at Cal Poly.  When he isn’t studying about wine, he is now sellin’ it at Epoch!  The perfect part-time pairing if you ask us. Ü In his spare time, Braden sits on the Executive Board for Theta Chi, serves as a Photo Booth host for Shutterbooth of Central Coast, and drives for Uber.  Clearly, he is a jack-of-all-trades, and we love having this dynamic worker and personality in our Tasting Room!

 

 

 

Marley Howit

Tasting Room Lead

Our resident Renaissance Woman, Marley has a colorful resume (and a no shortage of hilarious stories) of jobs in all aspects of the service industry.  Her wide array of experience makes her a natural in the Tasting Room, interacting well with people and adjusting to any and all circumstances.  In her spare time, Marley loves hiking with her puppy, Cinch, and riding her horse, Pony…she and Pony particularly love them some barrel racing! Ü

 

 

Catt Hasbrook

Tasting Room Educator | Distribution Liason

Catt’s experience in the wine industry has taken her across the world…literally!  She most recently worked at Two Hands Wines in the Barossa Valley, Australia.  Prior to the journey Down Under, she spent several years on the Winemaking team at Saucelito Canyon while also working at other Tasting Rooms in the area.  Catt will be earning her degree in Wine and Viticulture with a focus in Wine Business this spring from Cal Poly.  We love having Catt’s vast wine knowledge and experience in our Tasting Room!

 

 

 

 

Christina Benson

Tasting Room Educator | Graphic Designer

Christina joined our Tasting Room staff in 2011 and quickly became our Tasting Room Manager.  She held this job until August 2015, when she and husband/Paso Winemaker, Brian Benson, had their first child, Brayden!  Now that Christina is busy with her new role as a Momma, we only see her on a part-time basis, but we love having her Tasting Room experience and Digital Design skills on call. 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephanie McTiernan

Tasting Room Educator

Stephanie joined Team Epoch in the very early days of our Tasting Room….in fact, she is our most seasoned veteran in the Tasting Room!  These days, however, Steph is with us on a part time basis, as she has her hands full as a first-time mom to her darling daughter, Mila!  But for those of you who are lucky enough to catch her on the Mountain, Steph can tell you just about anything you want to know about our wines, properties, and the Epoch story.  

 

 

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