Meet The Team
Get to know the beasts behind your favorite wines.
Head Winemaker, Co-Founder
At the heart and soul of Cellar Beast Winehouse is our award winning Head Winemaker and creator of the wine Dark Angel, Matt Check. There’s no doubt that our wines would not be renown if it weren’t for Matt's masterful technique. A Level IV Sommelier (Wine School of Philadelphia) and former athlete; his energy and enthusiasm are contagious. Ask Matt about his specialty, Carménère, he has made quite a name for himself making amazing wine with a grape that has been all but forgotten. For years Matt has been working with grapes from South America, California, & Washington.
Matt's signature wine "The Dark Angel" won Double Gold, Best in Class and scored an impressive 97 points at the 2023 Sunset International Competition in Sonoma, CA, as well as Double Gold at The Concours d'Vin 2023 Competition.
Adding knowledge, professionalism, and hints of humor to Cellar Beast Winehouse is one of our award winning winemakers and the creator of the wine Gold Medal winner Bordeaux style blend Midnight Archer, Brian Crew. There is no question that our superb wine quality relies on Brian’s attention to detail. Brian was trained in Wine Tasting/Analysis through UC Davis, holds a certificate as an Oregon Wine Expert, and is a certified Sommelier through the Wine School of Philadelphia. As a former entertainer he is always eager to share wine and knowledge in a unique and often unorthodox way. For years Brian has worked with grapes from South America, California, & Washington. Brian also has the CÔTES DU RHÔNE Certificate with Napa Valley Wine Academy.
Brian's signature wine "The Midnight Archer" 2021 Vintage won Double Gold at The Invitational American Fine Wine Competition 2024 and Gold at the Great American International Wine Competition in 2023!
Mark Pagliaro resides in Doylestown PA where he has been making wine in his family winery for over 16 years. Mark is a passionate award winning winemaker and in 2011 he decided to expand his knowledge in the science of winemaking by enrolling in a world renowned enology program at the University of California, Davis, where he graduated and received his winemaking certification in March of 2013. In the fall of 2013 he became a member of the winemaking team at Stone & Key Cellars in Montgomeryville, PA working with fruit from South America, California, and Washington and even began providing consulting services to local wineries in Eastern PA. Mark recently joined the winemaking team at Cellar Beast Winehouse during their inaugural vintage and opening of a new winery in Andreas PA in 2021. He also has the CÔTES DU RHÔNE Certificate with Napa Valley Wine Academy as of 2024. Mark continues to consult with local wineries and home winemakers. He brings passion and commitment to learning and making quality wines, and particularly enjoys annual visits to Napa and Sonoma Valley wineries. Mark's signature blend called "Grand Mélange" a Right Bank Bordeaux style red blend using Scootney Flats Vineyard, Red Mountain, Washington grapes won a Silver Medal in the Great American International Wine Competition in 2023. In 2023 Mark began our first ever Zinfandel program at Cellar Beast, stay tuned for details! Also be sure to stay tuned to special events at the winery where Mark joins the team in tastings, his wide range of wine experience and knowledge is incredible to witness!
Andreas Tasting Room Manager & Head Sommelier
Aaron Francis is a visual artist, sculptor, printmaker, designer, and co-creator of Lone Folk Studio. His work seeks to combine the intangible ceremonial experience of the act of making, with the purely tangible and tranquil beauty of raw materials. Aaron draws inspiration from the channels of the ritualistic mind through the refinement of natural elements, and celebrates the harmony that may be found within. He specializes in the sacredness of color, the balance of design, the translation of dreamscapes, and the symbolic peace that may be brought to a space. Behind all of Aaron’s work lies a deep devotion to the mindful aesthetic. His passion for art shows through in his enthusiastic presentation of Cellar Beast wine and the art behind the process. When not leading a guided tasting with customers you'll find him behind the scenes working side by side with the winemaking team increasing his knowledge in every part of the process. In 2022 he got to be intimately involved in our Primitivo project and something tells us this is just the beginning.
The Team In Charge of your Wine Experience
The people you'll see in Andreas, Easton, at events, or are hidden behind the scenes.
Without these folks we would have never reached you with these wines and ciders. They give you the experience, not just the product.
Vineyard Hand/House Music Act
Jessi Lee Ross
Whether you find her tending the gardens, pruning the vines, helping behind the bar or enchanting the crowd as our main musical act-Jessi is always there to help us in whatever role needed. She is a singer and songwriter with a style so unique and expressive it captivates crowds each time she performs.
Private Event & Pairing Dinner Coordinator / Sommelier
You may have seen her occasionally helping us at events, or working at Easton or Andreas. Aside from her background in retail management and merchandise purchasing, Melissa ran events with us in past business ventures and as a sommelier (WSOP) she’s well versed in all things wine, from production to tasting room. Her favorite wine ranges from Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, & Cab Franc. In her spare time she loves studying weather (she has some serious apps for that). You’ll sometimes find her singing to herself or dancing along to the music in the background, her energy cannot be matched. When she’s not at the winery she’s enjoying the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with her two teenage boys, her husband, and her bulldog mix, Pumbaa.
Lara joins the Cellar Beast team with an eagerness to help the business grow through strategic marketing tactics. Leveraging over 5 years of varied experience in nonprofit and brand marketing, she aims to introduce Cellar Beast’s premium product to a wider audience. Her appreciation for wine began when she walked through Spain’s Rioja region while completing the Camino de Santiago. Lara’s palate is constantly evolving thanks to the winemaker's expertise, but her favorite wines typically include Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. A Lehigh Valley native, she currently lives in Easton where she enjoys spending her spare time making bread and playing board games with friends.
When not representing us at events or coordinating pairing dinners, Lauren is a Sensory Panelist at Samuel Adams (The Boston Beer Company). She evaluates samples using an unbiased sensory science minded approach, while also ensuring consistency of their products.
When it comes to wine, you can typically find Lauren enjoying a Blanc de Blancs or a delicious Viognier, although she loves our Jeune Bête and our Brut Rosé. Lauren is originally from England and is also a twin! She’s happily married to a farmer and loves a good hockey game and her dogs Gus & Hank! If you would like to team up with Cellar Beast for a pairing dinner she's the gal you want to talk to! Reach out!
Easton native Lauren P. was previously in the wine industry and later joined our team in Easton to add the much needed bubbly personality. She has a love for anything art, from photography to painting to make up. She also loves exploring wine trails in her free time! Her favorite wine from Cellar Beast is our 2021 Pinot Gris! When not in Easton you can sometimes find Lauren at our off-site events or at our Andreas location. If you ever have any questions about local wine or restaurants, LP is the gal to talk to!
Easton Tasting Room Manager/Somm
Rachel graduated from DeSales University and is currently living in the Lehigh Valley. She is a free spirit who loves traveling around the world. She’s been to some amazing places, including the Champagne region of France! She also enjoys spending time with her rescue cat, Jelly.
Rachel comes from a family who makes wine, so she enjoys drinking all styles of wine, while also trying different variations of similar varietals. Her favorite wine at Cellar Beast includes our Brut Rosé (who doesn’t love a good bubbly) and our Jeune Bête. You'll likely meet Rachel at our Easton location and sometimes even out at a Lehigh Valley event!