Our Story

The story of Rocca

The idea for Rocca Family Vineyards began In 1999, after a three-year search for the perfect vineyard finally yielded results: a 21-acre vineyard nestled deep in the heart of the Napa Valley. After renaming the new parcel The Grigsby Vineyard, Mary devoted her full attention to the new project, while Eric continued to cultivate a career as one of the nation’s most respected pain management physicians.

Mary called upon renowned winemaker Celia Welch Masyczek to produce the label’s first vintage in 2000. By 2002 the Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon came in #1 in a blind tasting of 12 Rising Star Cabernets at the Vintners Club tasting in the U.S. Later, the wine was chosen # 1 in France's 12 Best Cabernets from California. Years of accolades and popular opinion have established Rocca as one of the industry’s finest wine producers, a reputation the team is happy to uphold.

In 2000 Mary purchased the 11-acre Collinetta Vineyard, planted on a small hill in the Coombsville Appellation. These two vineyards produce some of the Valley’s finest wine grapes. In 2008, Celia passed the winemaking baton to Paul Colantuoni, who continues to produce world-class wines under the Rocca label.

Meet The Team:

Mary Rocca & Dr. Eric Grigsby (Vintners):
1989 found Mary Rocca and her husband Eric Grigsby, along with their four children heading west, back to Mary’s roots. After settling in the Napa Valley Mary opened her dentistry practice and Eric opened the first of many nationally recognized pain clinics.

In 1996 Mary and Eric knew it was time to pursue their lifelong dream of getting back to the land and the search for the perfect vineyard began; 3 years later a small, 21 acre vineyard in Yountville was christened “The Grigsby Vineyard.” Quickly following, in 2000 Mary and Eric purchased an 11 acre hillside vineyard in Coombsville which they aptly named “Collinetta” meaning “Little Hill” in Italian.

Mary’s plate, as well as her glass, is full – from being a full time wife, a mother to their 4 adult children who are scattered all over the world, to running a specialty grocery store in the small coastal town of Point Reyes and of course to her role as vintner at Rocca Family Vineyards, it is not hard to see why she has been called a “modern-day renaissance woman.”

Mary and Eric split their time between Napa and Kaui where in their spare time they enjoy paddling, tennis, hiking and entertaining family and friends.

 

Paul Colantuoni (Winemaker):
Paul has spent much of his life between the US and Europe, his roots being Italian and his winemaking style is the perfect mix of Old World Finesse and New World Exuberance. Paul has worked and studied in Tuscany and Chateauneuf-du-Pape under some of the greats. As Assistant winemaker to Ehern Jordan at Neyers, he brought his knowledge and artistry back to the Napa Valley. His non-interventionist approach to winemaking is what first caught the eye of Mary Rocca. His winemaking allows the unique characteristics of each vineyard, and each growing season, to shine. “The Rocca Vineyards have all the pieces in place to make world-class wine, so my job is mainly to stand out of the fruit’s way”-Paul

 

 

Sergio Melgoza (Vineyard Manager):
Sergio joined Rocca Family Vineyards in 2001. He has intimate knowledge of every row, vine and bud of Rocca’s 31 acres of vineyards on two estates. Originally from Michoacan, Mexico, Sergio emigrated to the United States in 1986, and shortly after found work planting vines for Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma. He has gained hands-on experience in just about every aspect of growing and cultivating grapes for fine wines ever since, putting his love of a life spent out-of-doors to work for top vineyard owners and managers throughout the Napa Valley. Sergio works closely with Mary Rocca and Winemaker Paul Colantuoni, he is the primary source for determining everything from vine health and vigor to the first sign of budbreak—a role not to be taken lightly considering that both Mary and Paul firmly believe that 90% of winemaking takes place in the vineyards.

 

“We owe much of the accolades for our wines to Sergio’s meticulous care and careful monitoring of our vines. He’s been integral to all that we do, and to our continued progress as vintners focused on making nothing but the best wines possible from our land,”-Mary Rocca. In keeping with a holistic farming philosophy, Sergio has worked to convert Rocca’s vineyards to organic farming. Due to his efforts, we are now organic certification by the CCOF.

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