Sunday, April 17, 2011

4/18-Michael Horn talks to Ray Franscioni and Dana Merrill

Ray Franscioni-Owner Ray Franscioni Wines

Ray Franscioni is third generation Monterey County. Ray and family have gained a reputation for providing the finest grapes to some of the industry’s best known producers. Vintners like Kendall-Jackson, Mer Soleil, Morgan, Cru, and Joullian purchase fruit for their best vintages from the various Franscioni estates.
It is only recently, though, that wine lovers could collect wines from the Franscioni vineyards under the family’s own labels. Teaming with award-winning winemaker Joel Burnstein, Ray Franscioni and family have introduced their limited Puma Road, Pedregal, and Lilia releases. Wines with a delicious sense of place, the result of two decades winegrowing experience...

Dana Merrill-Owner Pomar Junction Vineyard and Winery                                                        
Dana Merrill’s family dates back 7 generations on California’s Central Coast to the Spanish rancho days. After growing up and farming in the Santa Ynez Valley, he obtained a degree in Ag Business Management from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He later entered the vineyard management business,  starting Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. in 1989. The firm provides management services to growers and wineries.



In 2008,  Dana and wife Marsha, son Matthew and wife Nicole created the Pomar Junction brand featuring estate wines from their 120 acre Templeton vineyard and other vineyards they manage. A tasting room was opened as well in November of 2008. The brand is managed by  Matthew and Nicole oversees the  wine club. Son Keith handles the website and label design. The brand features the SIP Sustainable Certification commencing with some of its 2008 wines.


Dana has been active in industry groups including serving as  Chairman of the California Assn. of Winegrape Growers , as a charter member of  the Central Coast Vineyard Team and as a board member of  the  Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.  He was voted San Luis Obispo’s Agriculturist of the Year and Grape Grower of the Year in 2005 and his firm was awarded the IPM Innovator of the Year award by the California Dept of Pesticide Regulation in 2002 for its efforts to promote sustainable farming systems at Pomar Junction and elsewhere. 

                           

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