Wines of elegance and balance from the Santa Lucia Highlands
The Manzoni family has been farming in Monterey County for several decades, beginning in 1921 when Joseph Manzoni emigrated from Switzerland in search of a better life. Like many Swiss immigrants, Joseph grew up with the Old World traditions of making homemade wine and Grappa, practices that would eventually grow into what is now the small premium winery of Manzoni Estate Vineyard.
Following in the path of many other Swiss immigrants, Joseph got into the dairy business for a time, but ultimately settled with a crash crop farming practice in the Salinas Valley. He brought his son Louis and grandsons Mark and Michael on board, making the Manzoni farm truly a family affair. Joseph kept his home winemaking passion alive, introducing it to friends and fellow workers, while passing on the traditions to his family as well.
In 1990, the Manzonis found themselves with five extra acres of land that didn’t suite for vegetable growing, and decided to plant rootstocks to sell to neighboring wineries. After nine years, they were ready to try their own hand at grape growing and planted their first few acres of Pinot Noir in 1999.
“We sold a few tons from the first harvest to wineries close by, but kept the rest of it for ourselves,” Mark Manzoni explained. “We made our first homemade wine and it did really well in a tasting competition, so we kept moving forward. In 2003 we officially made our start and released 197 cases of Pinot Noir.”
Mark Manzoni now oversees the vineyard management at Manzoni Family Estate Vineyard and shares ownership with his brother Mike, working together to make the family winery a success.
The winery, which produces less than 2,000 cases annually, has a small portfolio of wines including Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. The Pinot Noir and Syrah come from the estate vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands region, while the Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are sourced from nearby boutique family vineyards. All of the wines are made with distinction in mind, keeping a close eye on flavor development and barrel selection to give each wine and vintage its own unique character.
While the winery remains small, its reputation continues to grow with its expanding collection of accolades. If this is any indication of what’s yet to come, we know the Manzoni family will continue to surprise us with excellent, palate-pleasing wines that consistently define the region of Monterey. Enjoy!
David Coventry, winemaker
Born and raised in Monterey, California, David Coventry followed an unusual path before finding his true love of winemaking. After graduating college with a biology degree, David started as a Protein Chemist and made therapeutic drugs for a number of years. He then managed a rock band in San Francisco.
In 1997, David offered to help a friend in the winery lab of Chalone Vineyard and the rest, as they say, is history. Over the following years, David gained winemaking experience at Cloninger Vineyards, Morgan Winery, and De Tierra Vineyards before joining Manzoni. He is known for consistently making 90+ point wines and has garnered such prestigious awards as Winery of the Year, Platinums, Double Gold Medals, and Gold Medals. He has had multiple wines on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 List.