Piazza Family Wines
Sta. Rita Hills AVA
Ron and Nancy Piazza are growing a legacy winery with handcrafted wines meant to be shared and enjoyed with others.
A boutique winery built on tradition and family, Piazza Family Wines is one of the newest projects in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County. Ron and Nancy Piazza have roots here that go back decades and they have long dreamed of creating a legacy winery for their children, grandchildren, and generations to come. After years of searching for the perfect place, the stars finally aligned and Piazza Family Wines became a reality in 2019, focusing on Syrah, Grenache, and Pinot Noir, with a range of Italian varietals slated to be released in the next few years.
Ron Piazza grew up in Queens, New York as part of a large Italian household where wine was always on the dinner table. His grandfather Dominic always offered his stories, jokes and subtle wisdom, and handed down his passion for life and gardening to Ron. Inspired by those recollections, Ron's focus has always been on the meals that families share together and the 'handcrafted' character within the wines.
In the late 1980's, Ron and his wife Nancy made their initial leap into the wine industry. An opportunity arose to lease a property from a group of cloistered Carmelite nuns, and the Piazzas founded Mt. Carmel Vineyard, in a location that would later become the heart of the heralded Sta. Rita Hills appellation. This pioneering property supplies some of the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the state to a small group of Santa Barbara's most esteemed winemakers. Ron and Nancy are also founding partners of Mail Road Wines, which exclusively features the fruit from Mt. Carmel Vineyard. The Piazzas still own the vineyard to this day.
With their interest piqued, Ron and Nancy began searching for a vineyard site on which they could live and build their future. In 2017, they found a special place located at the top of Ballard Canyon that was once the old Harrison Clarke Vineyard. They knew this was the place and actually purchased the property next door as well to allow for further vineyard development down the road. The beautiful setting is now home to the Piazza's Bella Vista Vineyard with a range of varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Graciano, Grenache, Syrah, and a handful of Italian varietals to honor Ron's Italian heritage.
The couple also teamed up with the talented winemaker, Gretchen Voelcker, to craft the wines for Piazza Family Wines. Gretchen, who used to work for Martian Ranch and Vineyard and Rideau, was recommended to the Piazzas by Matt Dees, who is the winemaker at Mail Road Wines. Gretchen's vision is to produce minimal-interference wines from Organically-farmed grapes, showcasing the fruit purely and precisely. She is driven by her own independent spirit and pays strict attention to every detail, focusing on the craft of making wine the natural way. Gretchen has been an excellent addition to the Piazza family clan, and her wines are proving to be quite spectacular as well.
With views of Stolpman Vineyard and Beckmen's La Purisma Vineyard, Piazza Family Wines and Bella Vista Vineyard are in good company. The Piazza family is focused on Organic farming, and is actually moving towards Biodynamic practices as well. It is easy to see that sustainability for the entire operation is something the family truly takes to heart, as they plan for their children and grandchildren taking part in this legacy winery, working together, and crafting wines that are authentic and meant to be shared.
We are happy to introduce Piazza Family Wines to our Pinot Noir Wine Club members. Enjoy!