MEET THE TEAM
Master Sommelier David Keck discovered his love for wine while pursuing a career—and traveling the world—as an opera singer. He has a Master of Music Degree from Rice University, an undergraduate degree in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and attended Juilliard for opera performance.
After years of bartending and working in hospitality between operatic gigs, David took his first sommelier course with the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2010 and decided to make the career change. In the years following, David was named one of Food & Wine’s Sommeliers of the Year in 2016, and passed his Master Sommelier exam later that year, making him the 149th American Master Sommelier and the 233rd in the world.
Originally from the Brave Little State, after teaching a Court of Master Sommeliers Intro. Course in Burlington in 2020, David realized it was time to come home. He and Lauren decided to make the move in February of 2020. Needless to say, things got exciting when they actually began driving in the middle of March.
In a serendipitous turn of events, the vineyard at Boyden Valley became available for lease in June of that year, so the plans to plant and begin making wine in several years were expedited! Thus Stella14 was born.
OG Wild Child,
Chief of Vineyard Security
Maple Leaf Keck-Droege was born in a puppy mill in Missouri and has worked hard to overcome his tough upbringing. In July of 2020 he moved to Vermont where he joined the Stella14 team as the youngest member (9 months). Patrolling the vineyard, rolling in anything smelly, chasing sticks, hiking, and swimming in the river are some of his favorite leisure-time activities. He is suspicious of most people, but has only deep love and affection for Lauren and David (when they're not giving him a bath), and his sister, Pesto.
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
A native to the Northeast, Lauren is from Upstate, New York, where she grew up hiking and wakeboarding in the warm months and snowboarding and playing in the snow during the winter months.
After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY in 2012, Lauren packed up her car and drove out west to Fort Collins, CO. While pursuing fresh powder turns on her snowboard and sandy dirt under her mountain bike, she received her Master of Science degree in Geology at Colorado State University.
In 2014, Lauren graduated with her MS degree and landed a job in Houston, TX where, five years later, she met David in a yoga class at BIG Power Yoga. Despite Lauren’s growing affection and love for H-town and the people who made her time there so special, the mountains were calling and she knew it was time to go.
Lauren now lives in Cambridge, VT with David, their Australian Shepherd, Maple Leaf, and Pesto the Border Collie, working remotely as a geologist for S&P Global. Her hobbies still revolve heavily around being outdoors, whether she is hiking along the Long Trail, playing in the snow, or pruning the vineyard.
Chief of Vineyard Exploration
Pesto the Border Collie joined our family in Spring 2022. Lover of all humans, especially the little ones, Pesto is excited to meet anyone and everyone. Herding sheep is in her DNA (literally) and she loves to have a job to do. Catching her frisbee, chasing sticks, and running up mountains alongside her pack are a few of Pesto's favorite things. She is the ultimate snuggle bug and will happily accept a tummy rub any day.