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Meet The Team

Get to know the beasts behind your favorite wines.

 

Matthew Check

Co-Founder, Head Winemaker

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 forgotton.

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Brian Crew

Winemaker

Adding knowledge, professionalism, and hints of humor to Cellar Beast Winehouse is one of our award winning winemaker and the creator of the wine 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. 

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Erika Assise

Associate Winemaker, Cellar 159 Tasting Room Manager

 

Erika began her career as a teacher and from there moved on to work as a beauty & wellness specialist. Now, she has finally found her calling in the world of wine.

 

She got her start in the industry working with the PLCB as a wine specialist but wanted more of behind-the-scenes investigation into the craft. This led her to working at Stone and Key Cellars in Montgomeryville. As she began to see the work and dedication that went into winemaking, she fell in love with the process. Through self-study and wine tasting with the team, Erika realized that hers was not only a passion for wine, but a resounding need to be involved in its creation. Her love for the art behind every bottle has taken her from tasting room representative to Associate Winemaker here at Cellar Beast.

 

For the winehouse’s inaugural year, she is overseeing the Oregon Pinot Noir Program (which also happens to be her favored varietal). Pinot can be a desperately tricky grape to work with, but her great attention to detail and easy-going personality makes her a perfect fit to guide these delicate wines from vine to bottle.

 

Erika is an exceptional addition to the team, and all are excited to see the development of her skills, and the prowess of her wines!

Mark Pagliaro

Consulting Winemaker

Mark Pagliaro resides in Doylestown PA where he has been making wine in his family winery for over 15 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 and 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.  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.  Be on the lookout for Mark's signature blend called "Grand Mélange" a Right Bank Bordeaux style red blend using Red Mountain, Washington grapes that'll be available in April of 2023.