Drawn together through a blind tasting group, our families (the Aurilias, Miceks and Roberts) have become close friends and devoted wine enthusiasts. Beginning in 2007, we have enjoyed incredible tastings in our homes and at our favorite restaurants across California and around the world. As our love for wine brought us closer together, our relationships across Napa and Sonoma grew deeper as well. After the 2008 baseball season ended for Rich and Dave, we started to lay the groundwork for our venture into the wine business. Enjoying one incredible tasting after another across the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, visits with Rolando Herrera of Mi Sueño Winery, and the story of his passion for the art of fine wine, led us to friendship and an ultimate partnership. Rolando's knowledge, relationships and enthusiasm for Red Stitch have given us the opportunity to source incredible grapes from some of the finest vineyards in the Napa Valley.
Since the formation of Red Stitch, Rich, Dave, Tricia, John and Noelle have been intimately involved in the winemaking process, and have worked closely with Rolando and the entire Mi Sueño family to craft a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec that would stand the test of time. This hands-on approach defines our group's desire to be involved in all aspects of the winemaking process. The inclusion of the Malbec varietal in our flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is both due to the varietal's outstanding characteristics and the layers that it brings to the wine, as well as the fact that a fantastic Malbec tasting first brought our families together in San Francisco!
Since our inaugural 2007 vintage, we are proud to have deepened our relationships with the wine community. In 2011, we were fortunate to partner with the renowned vineyards Soberanes and Sierra Mar in the Santa Lucia Highlands, to craft two outstanding vineyard designate Pinot Noirs. Both wines have become an integral part of the Red Stitch portfolio, and we could not be more thrilled!
In life it is clear that wine often brings strangers together around a table and turns them into friends. The Red Stitch story is no different in this regard. Starting around a table in Patagonia, Argentina and bringing the families together for the first time at a Malbec tasting in San Francisco; wine has played a special role in the creation of The Red Stitch Wine Group. Please meet the Aurilias, the Miceks, and the Roberts.
DAVID & TRICIA ROBERTS
David and Tricia Roberts grew up in San Diego, California and were high school sweethearts. The Roberts were married in 1997 and have two children, Cole and Emmerson. In 2010, Tricia completed sommelier school and is a Certified Specialist of Wine. Soon after in 2011, she founded her interior design firm, Tricia Roberts Design and has been incorporating her classic style from coast to coast.
David graduated from UCLA and went on to have a happy and successful 10 year career as a Major League baseball player. He will long be remembered by Boston Red Sox fans for his “Steal of the Century” in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. David retired from playing baseball in the spring of 2009 and is the new Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
David and Tricia developed a shared passion for wine over their time together and took their first of many trips to Napa Valley during the harvest of 2002. They enjoy spending time together as a family with their two children at their home in Southern California.
GARY PISONI – PISONI VINEYARDS
TRIBUTE MURAL OF EDDIE PISONI AND ELVEZIO “SAW” BRESCHINI
Breschini Ranch Barn, Hwy 101 North of Gonzales, CA
GONZALES, CA—The Tribute Mural of the late Eddie Pisoni and 95-year-old Elvezio “Saw” Breschini gradually emerged on the old barn of the Breschini Ranch. Consisting of almost 1,100 individually painted panels, the largest installation of Monterey County-based artist John Cerney can be seen while driving south on Highway 101 before reaching Gonzales, California.
The multi-purpose barn was built circa 1910, most likely as a companion structure for horses and farm equipment to the larger, longer dairy barn on the ranch. Swiss immigrant Bernardo Breschini purchased the property in October 1909 for $250 per acre and 70 cows. Transformed from a dairy and alfalfa operation to row crops, the Breschini Ranch remains in the family.
In 1952, Pisoni and his wife Jane founded Pisoni Farms, growing lettuce, onions, sugar beets, tomatoes, small white beans, broccoli and cauliflower on the Breschini Ranch owned by Jane’s family. While Jane managed the office and handled the accounting, her brother “Saw” helped farm the land, driving the 1940 Farmall 300 tractor depicted in the mural up and down the fertile fields for more than 50 years. Both Eddie and “Saw” were WWII veterans, and all three of them were avid hunters.
Gradually Pisoni Farms expanded from growing 176 acres of quality vegetables to an operation that includes Pisoni Vineyards, located in the Santa Lucia Highlands and renowned for its premium Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah.
Almost every day until his death in 2008, Eddie Pisoni headed to the fields and vineyards with his grandson, Mark Pisoni, the third generation of Pisoni Farms to farm the land.
"My grandfather loved farming and loved this ranch. I look at the mural everyday and think of him on the side of that barn, looking over his fields. I hope that he would be proud of the job we are doing," Mark Pisoni said.
A special place, Pisoni Vineyards expresses the land and climate of the Santa Lucia Highlands and the spirit of the Pisoni Family. The site is a source of exceptional Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. First planted by Gary Pisoni in 1982, Pisoni Vineyards consists of small vineyard blocks arranged on and around the ridges of the mountainous landscape. Ranging in size from one-half to seventeen acres, the vineyard blocks perch at an altitude of 1,300 feet in the granite-laced mountains of the coastal Santa Lucia Range.
Inspired by the Burgundy tradition of having several wineries source fruit from the same vineyard, Gary Pisoni has formed relationships with some of the most prestigious Pinot Noir producers in California. With agreements based on handshake alone, these wineries are guaranteed specific rows and blocks each year. They purchase grapes at a per-acre price rather than a per-ton price, which maintains the focus on quality and not yields. In addition to supplying fruit to artisan producers of vineyard-designated wines, the Pisoni Family retains a portion of the vineyard for the production of Pisoni Estate wine.
Vineyard management is meticulous. Under Mark Pisoni's leadership, a long-time permanent crew of 18 skilled individuals perform all the work by hand. Every decision implements sustainable farming practices and long-term considerations. This commitment, combined with the rocky soils and cold Monterey Bay weather, produce serious and compelling wines.
In 1952 Jane and Eddie Pisoni began farming vegetables in the fertile Salinas Valley. A celery-crop profit in 1979 provided the down payment for the Santa Lucia Highlands property that became Pisoni Vineyards. Their love for the land provided the place where their son Gary could realize his dreams. Gary developed a love of wine while attending college. He started collecting fine French and German wines, and he made his first wine in his garage in 1978 at the age of twenty-five. In 1982, Gary broke ground and planted the first vines at Pisoni Vineyards. He was up against many obstacles, including not having a water source at the time.
Mark Pisoni, the vineyard manager, completed a B.S. in Agricultural Economics at the University of California, Davis, and an M.S. in Farm Business Management at Cornell University. He oversees the meticulous care of both Pisoni Vineyards and Pisoni Farms. Jeff Pisoni is the winemaker. He earned a B.S. in Enology at California State University, Fresno, and got hands-on experience at premium wineries before becoming the Pisoni Estate and Lucia winemaker in 2002.
The Pisoni Family produces one wine each year under the label bearing its name: Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir. Although actual quantities vary with fruit yields, typical production is a mere 500 cases annually. Often noted for their deep color and intensity, wines from Pisoni Vineyards offer complex flavors and layers of undulating texture. The rocky mountain soil and the long, cool growing season provide the fundamental character of the wine, and the tannin and acid structure contribute to the age-worthiness.
Lucia vineyard designated Santa Lucia Highlands AVA wines. Lucia is the sister label of the Pisoni Estate wines. Whereas Pisoni Estate is committed to a single expression of the Pisoni Vineyards, Lucia represents the collection of vineyards that the Pisoni Family farms: Pisoni Vineyards, Soberanes Vineyard and Garys' Vineyard (the latter two farmed in partnership with Gary Franscioni).
The wines of Lucia are vineyard designated Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah from these vineyards and eponymous Santa Lucia Highlands AVA cuvées with varying percentages of each vineyard blended together. Lucia wines are made alongside the Pisoni Estate wines using the same exacting standards for quality. They are sold via mailing list and high-end restaurants and retailers. If you are on the mailing list for Pisoni Estate wines, you will automatically have the opportunity to purchase the Lucia offerings.