As Chief Operating Officer at Colgin Cellars, Neil oversees our winery’s day-to-day operations, ensuring execution and strategic alignment across all facets of our business. In his role, he works closely with Chairwoman and Founder Ann Colgin and CEO Joe Wender to uphold our legacy of excellence while driving innovation and growth.

Neil was born and raised in Northern California. After living briefly in Florence, Italy, he attended UC Davis to study Italian. At Davis, Neil fell in love with winemaking. He soon expanded his studies to include enology and viticulture, ultimately earning a B.A. in Italian and a B.S. in Viticulture and Enology.

Before joining Colgin Cellars, Neil spent 15 years with The Duckhorn Portfolio, where he held numerous leadership positions, including Winemaker for Migration Winery and General Manager for Sonoma County Winegrowing. He rounded out his tenure with five years as Vice President of Winemaking and General Manager of Kosta Browne. Neil is a passionate lover of learning and is currently a stage three Master of Wine student.

In recognition of his contributions, Wine Enthusiast honored Neil as one of the “trailblazers shaping the future of wine in America,” earning a coveted spot on their esteemed “Top 40 Under 40 Tastemaker” list in 2018. Beyond his professional endeavors, Bernardi is deeply engaged in shaping the future of the wine industry, having served as a board member and guest lecturer at Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute.

He lives in Sebastopol with his wife and three children and spends most of his personal time attending various sporting events, traveling, and diving.

Our people and our land are the greatest assets we have.

Meet the Rest of the Team