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Winemaker Tod Hickman

Finding myself as a partner and wine maker in another wine venture doesn’t surprise me. What surprises me is our location—a decommissioned naval base. I was born and raised in Sonoma County and enlisted in the Navy in 1987 where I became a graduate of the Navy Nuclear Power Program. I served as a Nuclear Power and Propulsion Plant Operator and also served as a Navy Diver. Now, twenty-something years later, I am back on a navy base!

After being honorably discharged, I returned to Sonoma and attended Sonoma State University. Graduating with a degree in Environmental Studies, I took every opportunity to learn about wine making and intern whenever possible. In 2002, I bought property in the Sierra Foothills and relocated my family onto what has since become Hickman Family Vineyards. I have often considered myself a pioneer of sorts. I enjoy facilitating the growth of the wine business and exposing areas and communities to wine tasting (and drinking!) that aren’t your typical winery destinations. Alameda Point fits right in to that. I am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and look forward to sharing wines that I have made from Sierra Foothill grapes.

— Tod Hickman


Meredith Coghlan

Tod can’t believe he is back on a navy base? I can’t believe that I am back on Alameda’s navy base. Twenty-eight years ago, my husband served on the U.S.S. Enterprise, stationed at Alameda Naval Air Station, and had just returned home from a West Pac. It was on these docks of Alameda NAS where my husband first met our son, already 6 months old! I never thought my life would bring me full circle, to this base again.

A lot has happened in the past twenty-eight years. I myself served in the Air Force Reserves as a Surgical Service Specialist, owned and operated an accounting business for many years, and a few things in between. Tod and I met through mutual friends and shared a passion for wine and business. We decided to combine our passions and create Building 43 Winery. I look at this next phase of my life as the best part. I get to do something that I love, and share that love with each of you. Some call it a mid-life crisis; I call it enlightenment.

— Meredith Coghlan

Building 43 Winery Tasting Room Staff



Lisa Cooper

I love long walks on the beach... Oh wait, wrong bio.

While I was born on the East Coast, I grew up in California and consider myself a Cali Gal. I attended Cal State University Chico, and began my career as a paralegal in SF. In an attempt to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, I quit my job, sold my car, and backpacked through Southeast Asia for 5 months.

When I returned, I realized I didn't want to grow up. So, I moved to NYC and worked and played hard of 3 1/2 years, then came back home.

Through all of it I drank wine - a lot of wine. So, when I was looking for a second job, while still working full time for the Alameda City Attorney's office, I came across an ad for Building 43 Winery and it seemed like perfect match. I gained more than a job while working at Building 43 Winery, I gained an extended family. Now, Building 43 Winery is a place I'm proud to call home.


David Griswold

I grew up around Oroville, CA and am currently attending Cal State University Chico, completing a Construction Management degree.

For 7 years, I have been the Assistant Winemaker for Tod. Although winemaking was not something I initially thought I would pursue, I've learned a lot from Tod and have enjoyed my time in the industry. I hope to continue winemaking in the future.

When not in class or in the cellar, I like to spend time in the outdoors. One of my favorite pastimes is fishing.

Backpack? Only if it can carry a fishing pole.


Marissa Harris

As a lifelong Alameda resident and amateur wine enthusiast (only after I turned 21, of course - hi, Mom!), working for Building 43 Winery was a perfect opportunity. I've known Lisa for about 10 years, so when she asked me if I was interested in some part time work at a local winery - how could I say no? After meeting Meredith, I knew it was a done deal. Now, I work in the tasting room, as well as managing the winery social media and the monthly karaoke.

When I don't have my nose in a wine glass, it's in a textbook. I'm currently completing my degree in Physiology at San Francisco State University. The only backpacking I've done is across the Bay Bridge - but I hope to change that someday.


Brady Benner

I grew up in Cottonwood, and am currently attending Sonoma State University as a freshman. While still undecided on my major, I know my future lies in the wine industry. As the newest member of the team, I'm excited for the exposure to winemaking; and as I continue to learn at Building 43, I'm eager to find my passion.

I backpacked Yosemite with my mom - does that count?