San Luis Obispo County
A new small, family-run winery in Morgan Hill, Lightpost Winery is making a name for itself with site-driven wines from the best vineyards on California's Central Coast.
A new winery project based in Morgan Hill, California, Lightpost Winery was started by husband and wife team John Mauro and winemaker Sofia Fedotova, with celebrated French winemaker Christian Roguenant. Together, they are crafting some impressive wines that reflect the unique character of the Central Coast, from the Santa Clara Valley all the way down to Arroyo Grande. Since opening its doors in 2019, Lightpost Winery has quickly established itself as a winery to watch with several of the first releases garnering 90+ ratings and multiple awards from top industry competitions.
Sofia Fedotova grew up in the Ural region of Russia and never imagined she would one day own a winery in
California. Her distinguished career history includes working as a college teacher, a deputy director in the Business Incubator in Russia, a deputy director for a CPA consulting company, and the chief editor for a start-up CPA magazine. She eventually established herself as a successful entrepreneur, well versed in different aspects of business. Her interest in wine developed after moving to California, enjoying several visits to wine country, and marrying John Mauro.
John Mauro has had a successful career as well, starting as a professional musician, playing the guitar and doing songwriting. He also managed his own music rental studio and eventually ventured into the cell-phone and electronics businesses. John's diverse business interests make him an incredibly well-rounded owner of Lightpost Winery, and he still enjoys playing guitar and writing songs in his free time.
After several visits to wine country and falling in love with the delicious wines of California, John and Sofia decided to try their own hand at winemaking and made plans to start a winery of their own. They purchased a 56-acre property in Morgan Hill called Big Oak Ranch and planted their first vines in 2019, which really solidified their start in the wine business. They also furthered their wine education taking several classes and Sofia earned a winemaker certificate from UC Davis.
The couple also teamed up with one of California's most well-known winemakers, Christian Roguenant, who gained fame early on making elegant sparkling wines at Maison Deutz (now Laetitia Winery) in Arroyo Grande, and several Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays under the Niven family's popular Baileyana label in Edna Valley. Christian spent his youth in Beaune in the heart of Burgundy and was exposed to the world of wine at a very young age. He has since become one of the most celebrated winemakers on California's Central Coast with a vision to design balanced wines made with a hands-on approach. Over the years, Christian has been a judge for over 100 international wine competitions and in 2017 he was voted as the California Central Coast Winemaker of the Year. He is an incredible asset to Lightpost Winery, where he helps Sofia and John craft a diverse slate of wines from the Central Coast's best vineyards. Lightpost Winery specializes in RhÔne and Bordeaux-style blends, as well as single varietal wines and some Spanish-style wines. All of the selections are available for tasting at the winery tasting room, located just three miles away from the couple's Big Oak Ranch property at 900 Lightpost Way in Morgan Hill. If these first releases from Lightpost Winery are any indication of what's to come, we are all in for a treat. This brilliant team is just getting started and you'll want to keep them on your radar. Enjoy!