Our People

ken and kari

Owners: Ken Gulaian and Kari Heerdt

Hi everyone! We are Kari Heerdt and Ken Gulaian, and as the owners of Round Peak Vineyards, we’d like to introduce ourselves and our team, and invite you to visit! We met in Cincinnati in 1998 when we were both working for General Electric. We moved to Charlotte, NC in 2000, loved it, and decided North Carolina was where we would stay!

Life had other plans for us, however, and in 2006 our move to Oakland, California would prove to be instrumental. During our time in California we spent a lot of time visiting vineyards and enjoying wine, especially the small family owned wineries in the Dry Creek Valley.

When we had the opportunity to return to North Carolina in 2008, we jumped at the chance. Ken had already decided it was time to give up the corporate world, and an opportunity to own a winery in North Carolina was impossible to resist!

We are committed to making the best possible wines, and to keeping Round Peak Vineyards a relaxing retreat for you to enjoy. We hope you’ll come experience Round Peak Vineyards. While you are here, take some time to visit some of the other numerous wineries in our region, and take advantage of all that our area has to offer!

THE TEAM

Round Peak has a great team that makes it all happen day to day. While each has a primary responsibility, everyone helps at times with all aspects of the vineyard, winery, and tasting room business. You’ll also find that everyone also has knowledge of beer and brewing, and all are involved in our Skull Camp Brewery Operation.

Ken Gulaian

Owner & Winemaker

Ken enjoys the challenges of fighting off the weather, deer, birds, and other critters to grow great grapes, and turning those grapes into both traditional dry Round Peak wines and fun approachable Skull Camp canned wines.

Kari Heerdt

Owner

Still working her “corporate job” in Charlotte, Kari can be spotted helping out at the winery on weekends or at an occasional special event or festival. She enjoys her role as consultant and wine and beer taster but leaves the tough decisions to Ken and the team.

Justin Sieviec

Assistant Vineyard Manager

Justin especially enjoys springtime and fall in the vineyard. Being able to watch the vines grow and mature through summer, and ending the season full of fruit by harvest time in the fall.

Meka Newman Price

Marketing Manager

Meka loves working in the wine business and in her spare time enjoys going on adventures with her husband and giant poodle.

Marie Yockel

Financial Management

Marie likes adventures, and what an adventure it has been! Learning about beer and wine and meeting all the interesting folks at events is the best part of her job. While not out and about, Marie works behind the scenes doing financials.

Jeff Yockel

Sales & Distribution Manager

Jeff is officially “retired” but says that selling beer is more fun than selling air compressors.

James Madel

Sales Representative

James loves selling our beer and wine, and sometimes signing autographs. He is a lifelong scout leader and family man.

FOUNDERS

George & Susan Little and Janet & Lee Martin

Round Peak Vineyards was started by George and Susan Little and Janet and Lee Martin following their trip to the Napa Valley in 1998. Their dream of owning their own vineyard became a reality when they purchased the 32-acre vineyard site on Round Peak Church Road in 1999 and planted six varieties of grapes on eight acres in 2000. George Little and Lee Martin met as students at Davidson College, graduated in 1964, pursued careers in law and banking and married Susan and Janet, both educators. The two couples became friends when the Martins moved to Winston-Salem in 1983 and soon discovered a common passion for fine wine.

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