Monday, December 2, 2013

12/2-Michael Horn & Nicole Nielsen talk to Morgen McLaughlin and James Ontiveros

Morgen McLaughlin - Executive Director, Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association
Morgen McLaughlin is the Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association a nonprofit membership organization representing over one hundred wineries in Santa Barbara County, California.  Previously she was the president and CEO of Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association, a regional tourism marketing association in the Finger Lakes region of New York State and owned and managed a small vineyard and winery in Connecticut.  Morgen has undergraduate degrees in English and Secondary Education from Boston College and is completing her Wine Business Management Certificate from Sonoma State University.  In her free time Morgen enjoys hiking, cooking, traveling, wine and spending time with her husband and three sons.


Native9 is the fulfillment of my own American story two centuries in the making.  Tracing my roots back to the first men and women who settled in the Santa Maria Valley, I worked for hourly wages along with my parents to buy a small plot of land our ancestors' 8,900-acre Mexican land grant: a modest cattle ranch where I planted my 8-acre vineyard and a panoramic view of the land that had once been our own.  Planted in 1997 by my own two hands with the help of friends and family while I attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard is now considered one of the finest sites for Pinot Noir in California.  As a natural extension of my deeply personal vision for this vineyard, Native9 is made in small lots with a nod to both Old World sensibilities and New World stylistic freedom with the help of my longtime friend and vetted winemaker, Paul Wilkins. Though I wasn't born into the wine industry by traditional means, I have vine-growing and farming in my blood.  The name Native9 reflects my gratitude to the generations of California farmers and ranchers who came before me.

I am a graduate of California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo with dual degrees in Fruit Science and Crop Science, as well as a graduate of the California Ag Leadership Program, Class XXXI.  In addition to maintaining Rancho Ontiveros, I serve as Director of Sales and Marketing at Bien Nacido Vineyard, which is located on one of the original Ontiveros family land grants. I have experience in both large and small scale vineyard management, including service as Southern Sonoma Vineyard Manager for Gallo of Sonoma in the Russian River and Sonoma Coast appellations and in grower relations for Kendall Jackson Winery where my territory stretched from San Benito County to Santa Ynez. As an active advocate for local agriculture, I see vast, untapped viticultural potential in the ranches around Santa Maria, and I'm working to elevate the valley’s burgeoning reputation as a world-class region for wine.

No comments:

Post a Comment