Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

Paula Kornell: A Lifetime in Napa Valley

Kornell, Paula
Meeker, Martin
Paula Kornell: A Lifetime in Napa Valley
Paula Kornell is the principal of Paula Kornell Sparkling Wine. Kornell co-chaired Auction Napa Valley in 1992 and 2002; she served as board chair of Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) in 2009. Kornell is a Napa Valley native and her father was Hanns Kornell, the owner and winemaker at Kornell Champagne Cellars in Napa Valley. Kornell worked in wine sales after college and then at her father’s winery until he lost the winery in 1992. Kornell continued to work in the industry, including at Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Robert Mondavi Winery, Carmenet Vineyard, and Oakville Ranch. In partnership with Vintage Wine Estates, she launched Paula Kornell Sparkling Wine in 2019. In this interview, Kornell discusses: family background and upbringing, including observations of Napa Valley in the 1960s and 1970s; father Hanns Kornell and his winery; NVV in the 1980s; Auction Napa Valley and wine marketing; the role of women in the wine industry; thoughts on the 75th anniversary of NVV.
Subject area(s):
Natural Resources, Land Use, and the Environment
Interview date(s):
Napa Valley Vintners
Paula Kornell, “Paula Kornell: A Lifetime in Napa Valley” conducted by Martin Meeker in 2019, Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2019.