Doug started his food and wine explorations while traveling with his parents at age 14 in France. After graduating from UCSB in 1981, his family purchased Wine Cask in Santa Barbara. In 1994 Wine Cask became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award.
Doug sold Wine Cask in 2007 and now devotes his energies solely to wine making and Margerum Wine Company. Doug’s philosophy is to return to wine making in its previous form of production – handcrafted and personal.
Margerum Wine Company produces limited quantities of wine made from grapes grown at the Margerum Estates Vineyard and at top vineyards from around Santa Barbara County. The wines are made at their state-of-the-art winery located in Buellton. Doug is also the winemaker/consultant for Margerum selections which includes Rancho Boa Vista.
Discover the Grape Whisperer in this article.
Ruben was born in Mexico and immigrated to the US in 1989 when he began working in the wine industry. Over the years, he has established himself as one of the most talented winegrowers in America. Ruben manages Rancho Boa Vista’s vineyard and various other well-known estates in Central California. Today he’s a respected star in the Santa Barbara County wine world.
Ruben oversaw the planting and installation of RBV’s infrastructure starting in 2011. He suggested the best Rhône varietals for Ballard Canyon’s micro-climate — Syrah, Grenache, Grenache Blanc and Petite Syrah. He selected the best clones for the varied terrain and soil types. He shared his vision with Andrew and Claudia and they happily accepted and followed his knowledgeable advice.
Ruben’s passion and desire to create the best wine possible has driven RBV to optimal heights with each new vintage. He oversees an organic farming operation that meets state of the art standards. He includes a mix of technological tools, common sense and constant attention to detail to produce excellent results.
The Ballard Canyon AVA covers a relatively small area. The main unifying element that protects its quality and helps build its reputation is Ruben Solorzano. Those who know Ruben understand why he’s known as “the grape whisperer”.
It’s mainly because he seems to communicate with the vines, and in return, they apparently aim to please him. Only minimal watering is key to his technique, and when the leaves give him their secret signal, only then does Ruben listen to them.
Ruben’s “magic touch” with Rancho Boa Vista’s fruit is a primary reason the wine consistently excels and is drinking better with each new vintage.
Michael Miroballi graduated from Sacramento State with a degree in Geology and wanted to pursue a career connected to the earth near his beloved home, the Santa Ynez Valley. His first harvest with Margerum Wine Company was 2009. He believes in hard work, patience, and a commitment to excellence. Michael’s focus on producing wines of the highest quality and his passion for Santa Barbara County wines are tremendous assets to Rancho Boa Vista.
Tranquilino has been employed in the wine industry for more than a decade. He began working for Coastal Vineyard Care in Santa Barbara County and moved to Rancho Boa Vista five years ago.
He oversees various aspects of keeping the vineyard and olive grove well looked after and painstakingly maintained. He is a great asset who always manages to find solutions to problems, especially when it involves RBV’s infrastructure — the water system, vineyard irrigation, the wells and cisterns.
Tranquilino is very familiar with every aspect of the annual wine cycle from spring to harvest and everything in between. He’s made Claudia’s olive grove flourish like never before, and the olives are thriving under his vigilant care.
Tranky, as he is also known, makes a major contribution to the quality of RBV’s fruit and the overall success of its agricultural operation.