Our Team

dia_0086Alex Finberg, Sales

Alex has worked in wine for 15 years as a sommelier, retailer, photographer and writer. Over the years we have twisted his arm into becoming a Burgundy expert, but Alex’s heart remains with the wines of the Valle d’Aosta, Alto Piemonte and Südtirol. His favorite book is “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer and his stranded-on-a-desert-island album is “Voodoo” by d’Angelo. Alex spends his free time recording music, making vinegar, and tinkering with his composting toilet and grey water recycling systems.  He joined Terra Firma in 2011.

Kevin Olmsted, Sales

After almost 20 years of selling wine, we hope that, after joining us in the summer of 2016, Terra Firma will be Kevin’s last stop.  He has worked on both the wholesaler & supplier side – for global and national wine corporations, for boutique family wineries, and most recently in the throes of private label.  The entire reason Kevin got into this gig in the first place was to learn about, drink, and sell the best wine possible, and he considers our book second to none!  When he is not bugging his customers for an appointment, he cooks and plays traffic cop for his two teenagers and two dogs.  He met his wife as an undergrad at Cal.  25 years later, they still wonder what they’ll do when they grow up.


 John Herbstritt, Sales

Although the newest member of our sales team, John has long been known to us – we’ve had the privilege of selling our wines to him for the past several years, and have always enjoyed how deeply he delved into our catalog, as well as the level of knowledge he sought about the wines. We’re pretty sure he attended every tasting we hosted over the past five years!   Working as a buyer in both retail (Bi Rite, Vintage Berkeley) and restaurant (Mister Jiu’s, as Wine Director) has given John solid insight into the issues our customers face in managing their programs.  John’s love of wine, food, and the company of good friends is infectious and we’re thrilled to have him on board.  He graduated from UC Berkeley (with a degree in Rhetoric!) and lives with his partner and cute little blue truck in the Mission District in San Francisco. (You can read his blog here: Little Blue)


Ted Talley, CEO, Founder

 Ted graduated from San Francisco State with a BA in the Humanities (all of them).  He went on to study oenology and viticulture in Burgundy, at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune and the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon.  He spent many years working in the vines of Meursault, picking, pruning, and drinking.  He has been selling wine in the Bay Area since 1996, and founded Terra Firma Wine Co in 2003. These days, far too much of his time is spent wrangling excel spreadsheets, so to balance that out, he has taken up running.  He has completed three marathons, along with several half marathons and 10k’s!


Kristen Talley, CFO, COO

Kristen earned a BA in French from UCSB and spent two years living in France – one of these on the island of Corsica, working as a tour guide. Returning to the US, she embarked on a fruitful fifteen year career in health insurance as a sales and account manager. In 2006, she left the corporate world to join Ted running the company, and hasn’t looked back.  When the joys of running a small business become too overwhelming, she makes every effort to go outside, to hike up a hill or head out on the water.  

 Ted and Kristen got married in 1999 and became business partners in 2006.  So far so good.  They are proud parents to Kevin and Olivia, two really great teenagers (really).