Our Story


Helen's opened with Jon & Vinny's in 2015. We now have four locations: Fairfax, Brentwood, Slauson and Beverly Hills. Inside you will find a focus on naturally-driven and organically farmed labels, small production vineyards, wine makers with integrity, lower intervention elevage & dynamic thoughtful wines. The shop is a curation of allocated items, limited releases, favorite gems & new finds in a constant rotation.

Jon & Vinny's with Helen's is a celebration of food, wine & partnership that is rooted in a long friendship. With the wine shop, the goal was to create an experiential, curated environment, where people could find high quality, well-made wines at every price point. Wine should enhance life & be made with a certain level of purity. I wanted people to feel welcomed and have the ability to learn about what they are consuming in an understandable and fun way. Follow the dope palate and then wine will be irresistible!



I founded Helen’s Wines with my business partners and pseudo-brothers Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo in 2015 with a goal to educate and inspire people to care about the wine they are drinking. Wine is one of the most consumed beverages, yet most people don’t realize that there could be more than just fermented grapes inside the bottle. As an unregulated industry - 96% of wine is grown conventionally with some level of mass production and chemical influence. Creating more dialogue and transparency, and connecting people with well-made wine that tastes amazing has been my mission since day one.

The story of wine begins with the farmer and ends with the consumer. It’s super important where and how it’s made. I’ve heard so many customers and friends over the years complain that one glass of wine turns their teeth purple or leaves them with a hangover the next day. This is the result of a mass-produced wine industry that is tinkering with an agricultural byproduct to stabilize the end result: a manufactured product that tastes the same year after year. Wine shouldn’t taste the same every year - it should change, evolve and reflect the realities of that vintage. If it doesn’t, you are basically drinking the McDonald's of wine….

At Helen’s, organic farming is a must. We focus on sourcing a selection of naturally driven and organically farmed labels that embody the mantra of “nothing added, nothing taken away.” We celebrate small production vineyards and winemakers with integrity, who intervene less, let nature take its course, and are passionate artists which results in a dynamic and layered wine. Wines with energy! It’s about skill & story, not just marketing. We are also cool if some winemakers have to add sulfur at bottling because sometimes it’s necessary.

Helen’s Wines is a non-judgment zone and we welcome you in every day of the week with open arms to learn and experience the beauty of this incredible agricultural product made by some really special people.




Helen was born in New York City. She started working in the restaurant industry while in college in Madison, WI. Her involvement at L’Etoile and the fine dining and farm-to-table driven experience inspired her to continue growing in the food and wine industry. She moved to Los Angeles and worked at Craft as a manager for two years before signing on with Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo in July of 2009. She is now a partner at Jon & Vinny’s in Los Angeles, and the owner of Helen’s, the gem box retail wine shop nestled in the back. Helen is the Beverage Director for not only Jon & Vinny’s, but for all associated restaurants in the group: animal and Son of a Gun. She also hosts wine classes and has a curated wine club, and was recently titled Best New Sommelier by Food & Wine in 2016.