Ferguson Family Winery
Central Valley region
"Wine is drunk at the best of times and the worst of times, and all the times in between."
A small, family owned winery located in the Central Valley in Visalia, California, Ferguson Family Winery crafts very limited amounts of Zinfandel from Paso Robles and Petite Sirah from Clarksburg, both made in a bold, fruit-forward, full-throttle style of winemaking. The winery was recently founded in 2016 by owner/winemaker Mark Ferguson, and total production is only a few hundred cases annually, making Ferguson Family wines incredibly hard to find. We are happy to share this newcomer producer with our Garagiste Wine Club members, and feature their inaugural release, the 2016 ‘The Phoenix’ Zinfandel.
Born and raised in Sacramento, Mark Ferguson was working at a law firm as a young man when he was first drawn to the wine industry. He was invited on a weekend wine tasting trip to Sonoma and he remembers climbing out of the car and looking around Chateau St. Jean and thinking, “This is an option in life?” That was the initial spark. From there, Mark started researching what it would take to become a winemaker, and realized it was everything that he loved: agriculture, science, and art. He started pursuing the prerequisite classes for UC Davis’ Viticulture and Enology program, and he also landed a job at Woodbridge Winery in Lodi to start gaining some hands on experience in the field. During Mark’s first harvest at Woodbridge, he was given some sage advice from Robert Parker that has stayed with him to this day: “You have to have passion...without passion you will never succeed.” Mark took those words to heart and he lives them out each and every day.
After graduating from UC Davis’ Viticulture and Enology program, Mark moved to Visalia in the Central Valley. But, Mark yearned to venture out with his own style of winemaking (big and bold are what Ferguson wines are all about), and eventually established Ferguson Family Winery in 2016.
Ferguson Family Wines currently offers just two wines - ‘The Phoenix’ is a Paso Robles Zinfandel from a bucolic hilltop vineyard on the extreme westside of the Adelaida District, and ‘Boomshakalaka is a Clarksburg Petite Sirah grown on deep, fertile delta soils. However, it is Mark’s vision to eventually source grapes from all of the premium wine growing areas of California to offer his customers a high quality wine experience in local Visalia.
When asked what Mark’s favorite part of winemaking is, his answer is ‘the people.’ “I know that sounds cliché, but it is so true. I love what I do, and who I do it with. I also love the fact that at the end of the day, we make a tangible product that people enjoy. Wine is drunk at the best of times and the worst of times, and all the times in between.” We are proud to introduce Ferguson Family Winery with our wine club members and hope you enjoy the inaugural release. Cheers!