A few words from Owner/Winemaker Clarissa Nagy
Greetings from the Central Coast~
"People often ask how I started in the wine industry. It was never my plan to make wine. Actually, my original intention was to work with food. Thankfully, food and wine are often paired together. Through that means, wine found me.
I met my husband while we were working together in the wine industry. We made a barrel of 2002 Viognier as a wedding favor. It seemed a fitting gift for our family and friends. My quest for another source of Viognier was encouraged by those who had tasted the “wedding wine.” It would be a longer quest than I expected.
I purchased one ton of Pinot Noir in 2004. I wanted to continue making Pinot Noir and work with an amazing vineyard. One thing led to another. In 2005, I began working with 3 different vineyards and my brand was born.
Pinot Noir and Syrah were my main focus for the next 6 years. I made a Viognier in 2010, but frost would prevent me from doing so in 2011. The loss of Viognier opened the door to work with Pinot Blanc as well, and my journey continued to unfold. The newest chapter of my story is the addition of the tasting room.
Winemaking has become my passion. Sharing that joy with others is a priority. I‘d love to be able to bring everyone into the vineyard and cellar to experience winemaking firsthand. Since that isn’t realistic, I offer you a taste of my labor. Here is that experience captured in bottle. I hope to share this passion with you in person. Until then, enjoy!" ~Owner/Winemaker Clarissa Nagy
Clarissa Guffey Nagy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo in 1995. With a passion for new product development and sensory science, she had several fermentation classes, but hadn’t been exposed to enology or viticulture as a course of study.
Her first production training came during harvest 1995 at Edna Valley Vineyards in the cellar and lab. Clarissa worked her way through the Central Coast over the next ten years. The wineries on that list include: Firestone Vineyard, Curtis Winery, Byron Vineyard and Winery, Longoria Wines, Rancho Arroyo Grande Winery and Bonaccorsi Wine Company. She began her own label, cnagy wines in 2004. Clarissa became consulting winemaker at Riverbench in 2012 and continues in that position today.
In the course of her career, Clarissa has been blessed to work with some amazing vineyards in Santa Barbara County. She hand selects vineyards that reflect her favorite aspects of this area. The long term contracts allow her to harvest the same section of the vineyard year after year. This allows for consistency and the wines reflect the variation from the vintage. Clarissa work directly with the viticulture staff. Together, they provide the highest quality grapes and wine.
Santa Maria Valley has really captured Clarissa’s heart and her palate.
Clarissa balances her time between family, community and the winery.