Meet the Team

MIKE SCHOENBAECHLER
(Big Mike)

 

Mike Schoenbaechler is a longtime resident of Las Vegas, beginning his winemaking path as an amateur winemaker with Grape Expectations founder, Charlie Peters, in 2005. Mike stepped into the professional side of winemaking in 2012, officially joining the Grape Expectations team.  After Charlie’s untimely passing at the end of 2012, Mike picked up the reigns as Chief Winemaker. Mike pioneered Grape Expectations Spring Winemaking Season, importing grapes for the first time from Chili in 2013, implementing our specialty 2 & 3 year wines (The Barolo, Brunello & Bordeaux-style wines), and, finally, spearheading the opening of Vegas Valley Winery, the first and only winery (as of 2019) in Clark County, NV. As co-owner of Grape Expectations & Vegas Valley Winery, with Patty Peters, Mike continues to invest in the craft of winemaking with continuing education & collaboration with UC Davis, supporting the growing viticulture industry in Nevada and contributing to the growth & development of the wine industry in Nevada.

PATTY PETERS
(Co-Founder & Co-Owner of Grape Expectations)

 

Patty Peters moved from her ‘behind the scenes’ role of owner in 2012 after the passing of her husband, Charlie Peters. Retired after years of service with the Metropolitan Police Department, Patty continues her role as owner & Chief Wine Wench. Patty is the heart & soul of Grape Expectations, ensuring winemakers can continue to make wine one barrel at a time (with a smile) as she manages scheduling groups, communicating & organizing winemaking & treasured social events like the annual Bacchus Awards & the annual St. Paddy’s Day Parade, special bottling parties (Port, Bordeaux, Barolo & Brunello events) and, finally, launching & managing the Tasting Room of Vegas Valley Winery.

K.J. HOWE
(The Professor of Yeastology & International Man of Mystery)

 

“kj” Howe is a longtime Las Vegan (and some say a Las Vegas legend as a founder of the Mint 400 Girls, hockey player, race car driver & Vegas advertising executive) and wine expert.  Professor kj leads winemakers in the science lesson portion of winemaking covering wine inoculation & fermentation initiation during the first step of winemaking, called The Crush. Professor kj’s expertise includes collaboration and educational pursuits with UC Davis, contribution to wine education publications, and a requested reviewer of wine books such as Good Better & Best Wines, Wine Folly and others. Patrons visiting the Vegas Valley Winery Tasting Room are delighted when they are fortunate enough to enjoy winery tours with The Professor.  During tours, he shares his wine knowledge built from decades of experience in fine dining, international travels (particularly in European wine countries) and knowledge of the history of global viticulture. Professor kj is an irreplaceable asset, a delightful dipsomaniac of vino & ‘colorful character’ at Grape Expectations.

CHAD EVANS
(The Chad)

 

Chad Evans joined the Grape Expectations team in 2013, as a longtime friend of Big Mike & with the reputation of dependability & the skill of being ‘able to fix anything’. As the current production manager of Grape Expectations, Chad’s experience & skill of keeping the hundreds of wine barrels and thousands of winemakers flowing like a great bottle of wine poured into the glass of good friends seem seamless & easy. Winemakers enjoy themselves as they enter the spotlessly clean production area and produce great wine thanks to the good work & supervision of ‘The Chad’.  Chad was integral in the design and build out of the Vegas Valley Winery undertaking, as well as the production of our VVW Commercial wines.

NICOLE SHARP
(Marketing & Events Wench)

 

Nicole Sharp came aboard in 2017 with the task of tackling social media & digital marketing integration of the old-world art of winemaking, or ‘Mission Millennial’, as she put it. As a 17 year ‘Recovering Mormon’ (aka, not drinking wine for 17 years) and relatively inexperienced in the world of wine, she approached the task of translating the joys and benefits of becoming a winemaker from the point of view of a less-experienced or brand-new winemaker. As her contract work with Grape Expectations continued and the Vegas Valley Winery launched, Nicole took on more & more duties & responsibilities of marketing, communications, management & event creation, scheduling and community outreach for Grape Expectations & Vegas Valley Winery.

Meet the Team

MIKE SCHOENBAECHLER
(Big Mike)

 

Mike Schoenbaechler is a longtime resident of Las Vegas, beginning his winemaking path as an amateur winemaker with Grape Expectations founder, Charlie Peters, in 2005. Mike stepped into the professional side of winemaking in 2012, officially joining the Grape Expectations team.  After Charlie’s untimely passing at the end of 2012, Mike picked up the reigns as Chief Winemaker. Mike pioneered Grape Expectations Spring Winemaking Season, importing grapes for the first time from Chili in 2013, implementing our specialty 2 & 3 year wines (The Barolo, Brunello & Bordeaux-style wines), and, finally, spearheading the opening of Vegas Valley Winery, the first and only winery (as of 2019) in Clark County, NV. As co-owner of Grape Expectations & Vegas Valley Winery, with Patty Peters, Mike continues to invest in the craft of winemaking with continuing education & collaboration with UC Davis, supporting the growing viticulture industry in Nevada and contributing to the growth & development of the wine industry in Nevada.

PATTY PETERS
(Co-Founder & Co-Owner of Grape Expectations)

 

Patty Peters moved from her ‘behind the scenes’ role of owner in 2012 after the passing of her husband, Charlie Peters. Retired after years of service with the Metropolitan Police Department, Patty continues her role as owner & Chief Wine Wench. Patty is the heart & soul of Grape Expectations, ensuring winemakers can continue to make wine one barrel at a time (with a smile) as she manages scheduling groups, communicating & organizing winemaking & treasured social events like the annual Bacchus Awards & the annual St. Paddy’s Day Parade, special bottling parties (Port, Bordeaux, Barolo & Brunello events) and, finally, launching & managing the Tasting Room of Vegas Valley Winery.

K.J. HOWE
(The Professor of Yeastology & International Man of Mystery)

 

“kj” Howe is a longtime Las Vegan (and some say a Las Vegas legend as a founder of the Mint 400 Girls, hockey player, race car driver & Vegas advertising executive) and wine expert.  Professor kj leads winemakers in the science lesson portion of winemaking covering wine inoculation & fermentation initiation during the first step of winemaking, called The Crush. Professor kj’s expertise includes collaboration and educational pursuits with UC Davis, contribution to wine education publications, and a requested reviewer of wine books such as Good Better & Best Wines, Wine Folly and others. Patrons visiting the Vegas Valley Winery Tasting Room are delighted when they are fortunate enough to enjoy winery tours with The Professor.  During tours, he shares his wine knowledge built from decades of experience in fine dining, international travels (particularly in European wine countries) and knowledge of the history of global viticulture. Professor kj is an irreplaceable asset, a delightful dipsomaniac of vino & ‘colorful character’ at Grape Expectations.

CHAD EVANS
(The Chad)

 

Chad Evans joined the Grape Expectations team in 2013, as a longtime friend of Big Mike & with the reputation of dependability & the skill of being ‘able to fix anything’. As the current production manager of Grape Expectations, Chad’s experience & skill of keeping the hundreds of wine barrels and thousands of winemakers flowing like a great bottle of wine poured into the glass of good friends seem seamless & easy. Winemakers enjoy themselves as they enter the spotlessly clean production area and produce great wine thanks to the good work & supervision of ‘The Chad’.  Chad was integral in the design and build out of the Vegas Valley Winery undertaking, as well as the production of our VVW Commercial wines.

VINCE CUOMO
(The Pit Boss)

 

Vince Cuomo officially joined the Grape Expectations team in 2018 as a member of the wine production team. Vince had been an amateur winemaker for years, first meeting Charlie Peters in his quest to source grapes for winemaking after moving to Nevada from Upstate New York. Vince has become a staple for winemakers to expect as he walks winemakers through the 4 steps of our winemaking processes. Vince also is key in maintaining the winery’s high standards of safety, cleanliness, commercial wine production and food preparation for Vegas Valley Winery. Big Mike says, “No one cuts the cheese like Vince.”, as Vince preps delicious Charcuterie platters for the Tasting Room.

NICOLE SHARP
(Marketing & Events Wench)

 

Nicole Sharp came aboard in 2017 with the task of tackling social media & digital marketing integration of the old-world art of winemaking, or ‘Mission Millennial’, as she put it. As a 17 year ‘Recovering Mormon’ (aka, not drinking wine for 17 years) and relatively inexperienced in the world of wine, she approached the task of translating the joys and benefits of becoming a winemaker from the point of view of a less-experienced or brand-new winemaker. As her contract work with Grape Expectations continued and the Vegas Valley Winery launched, Nicole took on more & more duties & responsibilities of marketing, communications, management & event creation, scheduling and community outreach for Grape Expectations & Vegas Valley Winery.

Meet the Team

MIKE SCHOENBAECHLER
(Big Mike)

 

Mike Schoenbaechler is a longtime resident of Las Vegas, beginning his winemaking path as an amateur winemaker with Grape Expectations founder, Charlie Peters, in 2005. Mike stepped into the professional side of winemaking in 2012, officially joining the Grape Expectations team.  After Charlie’s untimely passing at the end of 2012, Mike picked up the reigns as Chief Winemaker. Mike pioneered Grape Expectations Spring Winemaking Season, importing grapes for the first time from Chili in 2013, implementing our specialty 2 & 3 year wines (The Barolo, Brunello & Bordeaux-style wines), and, finally, spearheading the opening of Vegas Valley Winery, the first and only winery (as of 2019) in Clark County, NV. As co-owner of Grape Expectations & Vegas Valley Winery, with Patty Peters, Mike continues to invest in the craft of winemaking with continuing education & collaboration with UC Davis, supporting the growing viticulture industry in Nevada and contributing to the growth & development of the wine industry in Nevada.

PATTY PETERS
(Co-Founder & Co-Owner of Grape Expectations)

 

Patty Peters moved from her ‘behind the scenes’ role of owner in 2012 after the passing of her husband, Charlie Peters. Retired after years of service with the Metropolitan Police Department, Patty continues her role as owner & Chief Wine Wench. Patty is the heart & soul of Grape Expectations, ensuring winemakers can continue to make wine one barrel at a time (with a smile) as she manages scheduling groups, communicating & organizing winemaking & treasured social events like the annual Bacchus Awards & the annual St. Paddy’s Day Parade, special bottling parties (Port, Bordeaux, Barolo & Brunello events) and, finally, launching & managing the Tasting Room of Vegas Valley Winery.

K.J. HOWE
(The Professor of Yeastology & International Man of Mystery)

 

“kj” Howe is a longtime Las Vegan (and some say a Las Vegas legend as a founder of the Mint 400 Girls, hockey player, race car driver & Vegas advertising executive) and wine expert.  Professor kj leads winemakers in the science lesson portion of winemaking covering wine inoculation & fermentation initiation during the first step of winemaking, called The Crush. Professor kj’s expertise includes collaboration and educational pursuits with UC Davis, contribution to wine education publications, and a requested reviewer of wine books such as Good Better & Best Wines, Wine Folly and others. Patrons visiting the Vegas Valley Winery Tasting Room are delighted when they are fortunate enough to enjoy winery tours with The Professor.  During tours, he shares his wine knowledge built from decades of experience in fine dining, international travels (particularly in European wine countries) and knowledge of the history of global viticulture. Professor kj is an irreplaceable asset, a delightful dipsomaniac of vino & ‘colorful character’ at Grape Expectations.

CHAD EVANS
(The Chad)

 

Chad Evans joined the Grape Expectations team in 2013, as a longtime friend of Big Mike & with the reputation of dependability & the skill of being ‘able to fix anything’. As the current production manager of Grape Expectations, Chad’s experience & skill of keeping the hundreds of wine barrels and thousands of winemakers flowing like a great bottle of wine poured into the glass of good friends seem seamless & easy. Winemakers enjoy themselves as they enter the spotlessly clean production area and produce great wine thanks to the good work & supervision of ‘The Chad’.  Chad was integral in the design and build out of the Vegas Valley Winery undertaking, as well as the production of our VVW Commercial wines.

VINCE CUOMO
(The Pit Boss)

 

Vince Cuomo officially joined the Grape Expectations team in 2018 as a member of the wine production team. Vince had been an amateur winemaker for years, first meeting Charlie Peters in his quest to source grapes for winemaking after moving to Nevada from Upstate New York. Vince has become a staple for winemakers to expect as he walks winemakers through the 4 steps of our winemaking processes. Vince also is key in maintaining the winery’s high standards of safety, cleanliness, commercial wine production and food preparation for Vegas Valley Winery. Big Mike says, “No one cuts the cheese like Vince.”, as Vince preps delicious Charcuterie platters for the Tasting Room.

NICOLE SHARP
(Marketing & Events Wench)

 

Nicole Sharp came aboard in 2017 with the task of tackling social media & digital marketing integration of the old-world art of winemaking, or ‘Mission Millennial’, as she put it. As a 17 year ‘Recovering Mormon’ (aka, not drinking wine for 17 years) and relatively inexperienced in the world of wine, she approached the task of translating the joys and benefits of becoming a winemaker from the point of view of a less-experienced or brand-new winemaker. As her contract work with Grape Expectations continued and the Vegas Valley Winery launched, Nicole took on more & more duties & responsibilities of marketing, communications, management & event creation, scheduling and community outreach for Grape Expectations & Vegas Valley Winery.