About Us

Behind every wine is a person and a philosophy.

Craftsmanship, passion and ethics are our highest priorities, and we work tirelessly to find producers who share these values. Artistry and philosophy come second. After fifteen years of hands-on practice with winemaking and viticulture and many more years of high-end restaurant experience, we have strong opinions about what constitutes good wine, good relationships, and good business. Needless to say, our expectations of the producers we choose to represent are high.

Since we started importing in 2010, every year we visit the vineyards and cellars of each of our producers numerous times to better understand their wines and practices. Despite being overwhelmingly optimistic about life, we remain steadfastly vigilant when making our selections, always alert for the red flags that may go unnoticed by those lacking experience in viticulture and winemaking.

We are very particular about the way we choose to live.  Primarily, we work to insure that what we put in our bodies be as natural and nutritious as possible. That includes the wine we drink, which must be made with minimal additives to preserve both the sense of terroir and the health of the wine. Indeed, we’ve witnessed firsthand the things dosed into commercial wines, and we don’t want those things in our bodies or anyone else’s.

While the bulk of our producers are certified from the European Union as Organic or Biodynamic, certification is not a prerequisite for us when working with a winery. Our requirement is that vintners be rigorous in and mindful of their practices, willing to compromise their philosophies only in the most dire of situations.  Indeed, many of our best producers are not certified in any way with regard to their farming, yet to set foot in their vineyards is to observe as robust a vitality, if not moreso, as many a vineyard that bears certification. Dogma can at times be an inhibitor of intuition, and we believe the greatest wines are made by exceptional intuition.

Our logo? It’s an artistic rendering of a photograph taken of my father, Ed Vance, when he was a professional hunter in the 1960’s and 70’s, working privately and with the state of California to track animals for research. It carries no direct philosophical implications—we just like it.

We hope you will enjoy joining us on our journey while we bring to your table not only great, honest, soulful wines, but also the stories of their makers—the people who bleed, sweat and toil to make these wines that bring more beauty to our daily lives.

Our Team

Ted Vance

Owner, Importer

In 1995, at age 19, my obsession with wine went from zero to warp speed. Ever since then, I have lived, drank, breathed, obsessed and spent nearly every dollar I’ve made on it. Wine’s infinite layers of depth keep me constantly engaged, from mankind’s philosophy to the very nature of the earth, the universe and everything in-between. In wine I have found my academia, philosophy and calling. It’s what I do. My current role for The Source is as its acting president, designated traveller, curator, writer and photographer.

Today, I reside somewhere in Iberia with life partner, Andrea Arredondo (whose profile you will also find on this page). We made the move to Europe in 2018, starting with Italy for a year and then made the permanent move to Iberia.

Victoria Diggs (Vance)

Operations & Logistics Manager

Born and raised in Montana, I’m the youngest of four and the only girl. I cherish the values of hard work, family, and community. At 22, I embraced parenthood while navigating through the restaurant industry and other odds and end jobs. In 2008, I was fortunate enough to find my place alongside my brother, assisting in building what is now The Source. I find immense joy in being with my family and friends, whether hosting gatherings or traveling, but all in all, fostering connections brings me joy. I would like to say that I face challenges with resilience, which has shaped me into who I am today. Dedication and perseverance remain vital. I embody these values, blending personal warmth with professional excellence, reflecting our company’s mission.

Donny Sullivan

Owner, General Manager

Growing up on a small family farm in the rural countryside outside of Portland, Oregon, unexpectedly began to shape my professional path back to the farm and garden. Those days planted a proverbial seed that would later be watered by my thirst for understanding the world of wine.

I have worked professionally with wine for nearly 30 years, 20 of which spanned roles in venerable restaurants and hotels in New Orleans, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Portland and the New York area. I’ve held roles from busboy to GM and everything in between and have earned a lapel worth of stars, diamonds and goblets. My work with wine over all these years has taken me on a voyage of intrigue, relevance, passion and insight. What was only a beverage turned into a history lesson, a treasure hunt, an adventure and finally a part of my life.

This long standing high-end restaurant career, has shaped a preference to wines that draw emotional reactions and deeper connection to the place from which they originate and embody the spirit of the people that grow the grapes and sheppard the wines into the bottle. My years of selling wine and now owning and operating an import and distribution company, I have shaped a preference to work with, represent and employ those that work to make the world and the world of wine a better place.

JD Plotnick

Los Angeles Sales

I first became serious about wine through cooking in restaurants in my hometown of Chicago. While working at Schwa restaurant, I began to create wine pairings for the food I was cooking and serving each night. This sparked an obsession with wine that grew and eventually took over my life, inspiring me to move to southern California in 2011 where I worked for Whole Foods selecting wines and distributors to be sold region wide.  I then went on to work with Lou Amdur at Lou Wine Shop & Tastings in Los Feliz, where I opened the store in 2014 and helped manage and buy wines for the shop in its first three years before joining The Source in 2017.
German riesling was my first love in the wine world, and continues to be the thing I reach for the most.  When it’s not riesling, the wines of Piedmont, Burgundy, Jerez, Galicia and the Loire Valley are most commonly found in my cellar and on my dinner table.  I had a career in music before food / wine, and when I’m not cooking or traveling to wine regions I am usually playing music or enjoying nature.

Tyler Kavanagh

San Diego/Orange County Sales

I hail from the green and rugged southwest coast of Victoria, Australia. Having cut my hospitality teeth on restaurant floors in both Melbourne and London, I was suckered down the rabbit hole of wine, pushed deeper and deeper by transcendent experiences in my early wine life with old bottles of Clare Valley Riesling, electric Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley, and cool-climate, Victorian Pinot Noir.

Though, it was love, not wine, that drew me to California a little over a decade ago and throughout the past 10 years I have moved through both restaurant and retail-focused wine worlds in San Diego, Santa Barbara and San Francisco, fine-tuning my knowledge and crystalizing my passions in wine. Most recently, my tenure as managing partner of iconic, Italo-centric retail store, Biondivino, located in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood allowed me to fire my flame for all things Italian wine even more. I have now returned to my ‘Californian roots’ here in Southern California as The Source’s link to San Diego and Orange County.

Leigh Readey

Central Coast, Monterey, Carmel Sales

My post at the legendary (for the area and the time) Los Olivos Wine & Spirits Emporium in the early 2000s proved to be very influential. We not only operated as a tasting room for boutique local wineries but I had the pleasure of getting to know many prominent winemakers in Santa Barbara County. I quickly realized wine industry people were my kind of people. During that time, I also moved around 3 other local wineries while taking classes through Allan Hancock College’s Viticulture and Enology program. I eventually became a sales rep for a local distributor for nearly 6 years, including a stint working with a premiere Austrian importer that blew my palate open. After that, a break from life as I knew it led me down several different paths, but I knew deep down I’d prefer to return to wine. Sure enough, it was the opportunity to work for The Source that brought me back, knowing the wine growers’ farming philosophies and respect for the earth were akin to mine.

It certainly wasn’t one wine that got me hooked. Sure, I liked wine in my early 20s but would be embarrassed to admit what I drank back then. Through industry events, generous wine collectors sharing and numerous memorable dinners at Full of Life Flatbread in Los Alamos I tasted a wide range of older imports of which, Burgundy and Rhône were standouts. As most palates change, I now generally gravitate towards crisp, high acid, non-fruit driven whites of the Loire, Chablis, Austria, Spain and Portugal, but I’m always open to tasting what’s out there. The fact that we never stop learning in this industry has me hooked.

Iván Rodríguez


Since I was a kid, I’ve been stoked about nature and the geological history of our planet. That’s why I decided to study science, first with a degree in Marine Sciences and later a master’s in Geology. Then, after a short period in a French natural resource company, I decided to head back to Vigo to pursue a PhD, where I’m researching the relationship between major shifts in flora from the past and extreme climate events. However, one aspect I never imagined was connecting geology with the world of wine. Ever since Ted reached out to me a few years back, I’ve seen a whole array of new possibilities where I can blend two of my passions, bringing a different perspective and learning something new every day.

Tracy Todo

Order Desk

I am currently at the helm of the orders desk for The Source. I am the one who inputs
all the orders from the brokers and turns them into next day deliveries for all of our
restaurants and wine shops throughout California as well as distributors throughout the
country. I personally enjoy tasting, drinking and learning about wine, but my favorites are Italian
and French. There is so much to explore with our wide array of producers currently in
our portfolio. Life is good working and constantly learning in the wine industry.

Andrea Arredondo

Online Sales and Marketing, Graphic and Web Design

In 2002, I moved from Santiago, Chile, to California finish my university studies at UCSB. I fell head over heals for Santa Barbara and ended up running into Ted. We’re married now and he keeps me on my toes jumping from country to country, not only to visit but to live.