Rocca Family Vineyards

Mary_Rocca_5x7_300_0078Mary Rocca has a full plate (and of course, a full glass) — from keeping up with her four adult children, now scattered all over the world, to running a specialty grocery store in a small coastal town west of Napa, and of course to her role as vintner at Rocca Family Vineyards, where she’s intimately involved in all the decisions that come with making and marketing one’s own wine, it’s not hard to see why she’s been called a modern-day ‘renaissance woman.’ 

Mary grew up in northern California, the only child of parents who loved to garden, and raised most of their own vegetables in their backyard. Early on, she loved the idea of planting and growing things, and inherited her mother’s love of cooking and entertaining.  

In 1996, after a journey across the country and back took her through dental school, a decade as a leader in cosmetic dentistry, and a growing family with her husband Eric Grigsby, a physician, she began the search for her first vineyard. The hunt for just the right spot to grow grapes took three years, but it was worth the wait: in 1999, they purchased what is now known as the Grigsby Vineyard, in the heart of the Yountville appellation. Mary soon decided to put her own name on her wine, and hired Celia Welch Masyczek—a rising star winemaker who shared Mary’s belief that winemaking truly begins in the vineyards—and Rocca Family Vineyards was born.   

In April 2000, Mary sold her dental practice to dedicate herself to Rocca’s wines, to her family, and to taking over the Palace Market in Point Reyes from her mother, who had owned the store since 1973. That same year, Vineyard Manager Sergio Melgoza was hired to oversee both the Grigsby Vineyard and the planting of the Collinetta Vineyard in Coombsville — a position he still holds today. In September of 2008, she hired Paul Colantuoni as Consulting Winemaker, to continue Celia Masyczek’s legacy of crafting world-class wines that authentically express the character of their beautiful Yountville and Coombsville vineyards — and with that, the core vineyard team was formed, a team that still works together today.  

“Excellence is the focal point of everything we do,” she says. “It’s been wonderful to see that translated into the wine we make, and it’s a blessing to make something that’s a pleasure to people.”