Originally from upstate New York, Jonathan "Max" Davis gradated from Vassar College and moved to the East Bay. Max worked for several years front of house at Chez Panisse in Berkeley and eventually took his passion for wine back to the East Coast as the wine director at Five Points Restaurant, NYC. He feels his most rewarding tenure was managing Smith & Vine, a respected and beloved neighborhood retail store in Brooklyn. As wine buyer and manager, Max curated a Eurocentric wine program focusing on traditional, smaller and natural producers. Max returned to the East Bay, and worked as the Assistant Wine Director at Chez Panisse and assisted with wine tastings and sales for Bi-Rite Markets in SF before opening OAKLAND YARD in 2016.
Daniel Schmidt was a public school educator for a decade after college. He moved from teaching to be a student of wine, taking a position as a harvest intern in western Sonoma. When his sales experience brought him to New York, he found himself fortunate to join Davis at Smith & Vine in Brooklyn. Daniel returned to the Bay Area and spent several years in various roles in wine production, notably as Vineyard Manager and Production Assistant at Copain Winery and as an Assistant Winemaker at Punchdown Cellars. He moved to Oakland in 2014 and opened OAKLAND YARD in November 2016.