2016 Winemasters

Discover the brilliant individuals behind the Wine and Food Festival event. Find out how these people have honed their craft into an art.

Introducing Joy Merrilees

of Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery

Joy is a native of Lake County and brings a wealth of experience to her position as Director of
Winemaking and Production at Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery. She has a B.S. in plant science and landscape design from Humboldt State University and continued her formal education through winemaking courses at Lincoln University in Canterbury, New Zealand, and an extension program at the University of California, Davis.

Her winemaking experience includes both domestic and international winemaking and production. Her résumé includes Steele Wines and Kelsey Creek Brewing in California, Margaret Vintners in Washington and J. Christopher Wines in Oregon. Joy spent over a decade in New Zealand working at Isabel Vineyard Wines in Marlborough, Valli Vineyards and VinPro Limited in Central Otago, and Morworth Estate Winery and Vineyard Solutions in Canterbury.

The Shannon Ridge Vineyards & Winery sits on approximately 1,850 acres, only about 35% of which are vineyards. The balance of the land has been preserved for the wildlife which wanders through the property from the expansive wilderness areas adjoining the ranches. The vineyards were carefully planned out, leaving corridors open to migrating animals and protecting sensitive nesting areas.

Marc Mondavi

Charles Krug Winery

Marc Mondavi is the eldest son of Peter and Blanche Mondavi and grandson of Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, the Napa Valley pioneers who purchased the historic Charles Krug Winery in 1943. As co-proprietor with his brother Peter Jr., he works closely with their father, Peter Sr. on issues of strategic importance, including stewardship of all the winery’s brands.

Marc studied viticulture and enology at the University of California, Davis, and marketing at California State University, Sacramento. He returned to the winery in 1978 after his studies, at which time he immersed himself in every aspect of winery operation.  He worked with his father to further his knowledge of winemaking, and applied the expertise he had acquired at U.C. Davis to the winery’s numerous vineyard holdings.

Marc continues to spend much of his time in the vineyards, where he works with his brother to oversee the family’s 850 acres of Napa Valley vineyard land with mostly noble Bordeaux varietals.

The Mondavi family produces wines under the Charles Krug, Divining Rod and CK Mondavi labels.