VINCE FERRAGAMO – FERRAGAMO WINERY
Vince Ferragamo grows Sagiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon in his Estate Vineyard in Orange Park Acres, California, where the warm days and cool nights produce ideal growing conditions that mirror the rolling hills of Tuscany. The vines are hand-tended throughout the year, with a focus on phenolic ripening and longer hang times, giving rise to a rich and elegant wine with refined and polished tannins.
Mick Dragoo and Jeff Lazenby have produced the wine from Vince Ferragamo's vineyard since 2010. Mick founded Belle Marie Winery in 2000, and Jeff is General Manager and Assistant Winemaker.
Mick Drago PhotoMick Dragoo's appreciation for winemaking began during the Vietnam War, when he served in the Army as a maxillofacial surgeon treating trauma patients arriving home from the war in Northern California. On his off-time, he would visit Napa Valley wineries to unwind, and was impressed to discover some parallels between the art and science of winemaking and surgical reconstruction. After retiring from a successful periodontal practice in Reno, Nevada, Dragoo returned to Napa Valley to begin his next career, as a professional winemaker. Twenty years later, Mick and Mary Dragoo relocated to Southern California and opened Belle Marie Winery, a micro-boutique winery in Escondido, California that produces thirty or more wines every year in a wide variety of styles, but with a particular specialty in full-bodied, blended red wines. With an inventory of up to 78 different grape varietals available each year, Dragoo travels up and down California to the best growing regions and vineyards in the state from which harvest his grapes. In his spare time, Dragoo continues to develop and teach state-of-the-art surgical practices to surgeons worldwide.
Jeff Lazenby PhotoJeff Lazenby's passion for winemaking began during his college years at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the mid-1980's. With convenient proximity to the Central Coast wine country, he made frequent trips to area wineries, exploring the many varietals that thrive in the area and learning about how geographical and climatic influences shape varietal selection in the vineyard and the resulting styles of wine. Wine remained a hobby for years as Lazenby built a successful career as a health care executive while continuing to learn about wine in his down time. In 2000, he met Mick Dragoo, who had just started Belle Marie, and the passion for winemaking began to blossom more quickly. Soon he was spending his weekends and holidays volunteering at the winery, studying Dragoo's style and philosophy of winemaking and learning about all aspects of running a small, boutique winery operation. By 2006, the Dragoo's convinced Lazenby to retire and join the family business full-time.
EUGENIA KEEGAN - WINEMAKER & GENERAL MANAGER AT GRAN MORAINE (IN YAMHILL, OR) – WINE DINNER ON 4/14 CHAMPS DE RÊVES ANDERSON VALLEY PINOT + MORE