Portico Hills Vineyard: People

Ben Merz, Vineyard Manager 

“The farmer’s footprint is the best fertilizer.” Few winegrowers exemplify this quote as well as Ben Merz. Ben immigrated from Germany around the time he was attending grade school. He spent many of his formative years working on his family’s Arabian Horse Ranch in Santa Ynez Valley. He earned a degree in Viticulture and Agribusiness, from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and joined Coastal Vineyard Care Associates immediately following his formal academic training. Ben’s sound judgment and broad level of experience has earned him a reputation as a respected viticulturist. Such experience and respect has fostered strong and lasting relationships with vineyard clients, winemakers and industry professionals alike.

Ben is pleased to have been involved in the Portico Hills Vineyard since its inception in 2014. "This is a cool climate hill-side planting with favorably draining soils, and has the potential to be one of the region’s best  vineyards.  When planting this site, the most desirable clones of each given variety were chosen and it is guaranteed to make fantastic wine!  As a team, we aren't cutting any corners. We appreciate Doug’s investment in the reputation of Santa Barbara County wine."

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