Meet The Family
MARY ROCCA, FOUNDER & VINTNER. Mary is a dynamic renaissance woman who embraces the many facets of her life - from family, to agriculture, to shopkeeper, to vintner. Mary grew up in Santa Rosa, California. A star student, she graduated from Boston University's School of Dentistry and was one of the first women to earn accreditation from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. In Boston, she met her husband, Dr. Eric Grigsby and moved with him to Minnesota where he trained at the Mayo Clinic. They moved to Napa in 1989 and she opened her own practice in 1990. In 1996, she began to search for vineyard property and fulfill her dream of opening a winery. "Eric and I have long valued agriculture and land and knew that once we moved to the Napa Valley we wanted to become grape growers," she says.
ERIC GRIGSBY, MD, CO-FOUNDER. Mary’s handsome husband, Eric, has been by her side since they began searching for their first vineyard. A nationally recognized pain management physician, he also holds the challenging roles of father of four, and professional toast-maker at the Grigsby-Rocca family dinner table.
Eric played a vital role in the conversion of the Grigsby Vineyard to sustainably-farmed land after its purchase in 1999. He lent his planning skills to the family business again in 2002, designing the Collinetta Vineyard and picking out the clones of Cabernet Sauvignon to plant there.
Eric echoes many of Mary's sentiments about doing everything with a drive to be the very best. “One would expect Mary and me to make good wine because we come from such an objective and scientific point of view. Just as in our medical practices, we want to do the best we can possibly do. In medicine, you can talk all you want, but once you get in the operating room, it doesn't matter what you say, it's how you perform. In wine, what really matters is what's in the bottle.”
If you've ever had a bottle of Rocca wine, then you may already know a little about Mary & Eric's children: Their names are embossed on the label. Here's a little more about this dynamic bunch:
CAMILLE, 24, was born in Minnesota shortly before Mary and Eric made the move to warmer climes, settling, of course, in Napa. The oldest of the four kids, she remembers her mom’s transition into the wine business most clearly, and the excitement of wandering the vineyard rows they now called their own. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon, only a few minutes away from another renowned wine region. While Oregon’s Pinot Noirs hold a distant second to her mom’s bold and smooth Napa reds, she still makes sure to sample the local wares often. She visits home at least twice a year, and loves bringing close friends from Portland down to Napa to enjoy her very favorite thing: A long, relaxing evening at the dinner table, enjoying glass (after glass, after glass) of Rocca wine, and good conversation with those she loves the most.
NATE, 23, lives in Santa Monica, California, where he attends college. At a young age, Nate found his place in the Grigsby-Rocca kitchen, learning to craft the family’s holiday dinners under his grandma Dorothy’s careful eye. He has since firmly taken the culinary reins at family gatherings, sharply eyeing those who would intrude upon his territory as he prepares his own inventive takes on classic dishes. The rest of the family suspects his favorite part of the evening is watching his sisters clear the dishes, while he relaxes with another glass of wine - a privilege they’re hard-pressed to complain about, after another delicious meal prepared by their favorite (and only) brother.
MARIELLE, 21, is heading into her final year of school at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. The perfectionist of the Grigsby-Rocca group, she has brought home perfect report cards since grade school, a habit she has no intention of stopping now. Majoring in Business and Economics, she was one of only several in her class to earn the school’s most prestigious academic award, a 5-year scholarship to continue her studies at Trinity. In addition to being the resident smarty-pants, she is also the family fashionista, pulling off her many academic accomplishments in high style.
GIOVANNA, 19, is in her first year at the University of Virginia. Giovi, as the rest of the family calls her, is the outdoor expert of the family, spending weeks of every year backpacking through the great outdoors. A music enthusiast, she makes sure to catch as many shows as she can. Particular favorites are The Avett Brothers, The Black Keys (both of whom she’ll be seeing at this year’s Bottle Rock Napa Valley), and Railroad Earth.