John Fetzer, Co-Owner
John Fetzer’s career in the wine industry spans more than a half century, from his childhood working in the vineyards at the 1000-acre Fetzer home ranch in Redwood Valley, California, to his ascendancy to the position of CEO of Fetzer Vineyards in 1981 at the age of 35. Along the way, he dropped out of college after one semester to build the family winery and the Fetzer brands. Under his leadership, Fetzer Vineyards’ production grew by double digits each year, from 200,000 cases in 1981 to over 2.5 million cases in 1992. In the 1980’s, he was recognized as an early industry leader in marketing U.S. wines in Europe, in the education of sommeliers in the healthy pairing of food and wine, and in the promotion of organic farming principles.
John attributes whatever success he has achieved in the wine industry to his father’s admonition to “always run scared.”
Patty Rock, Co-Owner
After completing graduate school in art history at the University of Michigan, Patty Rock moved to California to find employment in that field. When that plan proved impractical to earn a living, she returned to school to take a few “practical” courses in business and thereafter begin a career in management. She spent 25 years in senior-level management positions in large Bay Area law firms. In 2003, she left an executive position with a Silicon Valley law firm to devote her energies to marketing Saracina and overseeing the administration of the growing Saracina and Atrea wine brands. Although the legal and wine industries would seem to have little in common, Patty recognized that they both attract eclectic, even mercurial personalities who are driven to prove a point and push the boundaries.
Having lived in big cities and worked in anonymous office buildings, Patty has found at Saracina an invigorating new world of hands-on projects and the opportunity to tap her love of art and architecture, where no job is too big or too small: one day she may be working on designs for wine or olive oil labels or reviewing an architect’s building plans and the next day, she’s sweeping the floors in the tasting room or chasing turkeys out of the vineyards.
Alex MacGregor, Winemaker
Armed with a business degree from McGill University, Winemaker Alex MacGregor made the first logical career step for a new college grad…tending bar. Fortunately for him, the bar was located in a Toronto restaurant with one of the most progressive wine programs in the country. Alex caught the “wine bug”. He obtained a sommelier certificate, worked as a sommelier assisting Canada’s only MW at the time, and then spent a year traveling the wine regions of France, Spain, New Zealand and Australia. At that point, Alex knew he had to make wine. After emigrating to the United States to study enology and viticulture in California, he found his first job as an enologist in the Dry Creek Valley.
Ten years later he joined the Saracina team as its first winemaker. He was excited to move to Mendocino County with its many family-owned small farms and ancient vines. “Saracina offered me the opportunity to work with legendary Winemaking Consultant, David Ramey, and with wine industry icon, John Fetzer, to absorb all the experience and enlightenment that John and his family had brought to the world of wine growing.”
If he’s not inspecting vineyards, he’s in the winery obsessing about our next great wine or dropping barrels from the forklift, although he claims to be less prone to that than in his early days in wineries. In all seriousness, Alex’s fellow winemakers in the county recognize his talent and call upon him regularly for advice and counsel.