Brian Talley, President and CEO of Talley Vineyards, a pioneering producer of estate grown Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and other cool-climate wines from California’s San Luis Obispo Coast AVA, is pleased to announce the promotion of Eric Johnson to Director of Viticulture and Winemaking. In his newly expanded role, Johnson will guide the overall vision of Talley’s cultivation and production across seven estate vineyards, spanning 129 acres across the San Luis Obispo Coast AVA, with vineyard holdings including Arroyo Grande Valley sites East Rincon, West Rincon, Las Ventanas, Monte Sereno, Rosemary’s Vineyard, and Edna Valley sites Oliver’s Vineyard and Stone Corral. Each vineyard is recognized as a benchmark within its respective AVA, and a source for over 21 wineries who value Talley’s reputation for farming excellence.
A seasoned member of the Talley Vineyards team since 2007, Johnson ascended to the position of winemaker in 2010. With the 2024 vintage, Johnson enters his 18th growing season at Talley Vineyards, a history which has provided him a robust understanding of its estate vineyards. As winemaker, Johnson collaborates daily with Talley’s longtime vineyard team, advising on crucial decisions. In the cellar, he individually ferments and ages each of Talley’s 100-plus blocks, periodically blind tasting each lot throughout the year, allowing him to objectively assess the characteristics and evolution of each site. This precision allows him to make data-driven farming decisions in response.
“This promotion marks a natural progression for Eric’s role within Talley Vineyards,” says Brian Talley. “Eric’s exceptional knowledge of our estate vineyards and commitment to capturing each site’s unique characteristics has been pivotal in enabling us to evolve and produce wines that truly embody the essence of the San Luis Obispo Coast.”
Johnson’s new role brings him back full circle to his agricultural upbringing, beginning amongst the apricot and walnut groves of his family’s farm in Los Banos, CA. An alumnus of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), with degrees in agricultural business management and viticulture and enology, he further honed his skills working abroad at Whitehaven Winery in Marlborough, New Zealand before coming back to California’s Central Coast. “I am deeply honored for the opportunity to further integrate our vineyard and winemaking practices at Talley,” says Johnson. “Over the years, my connection to these sites has grown profoundly. My aim is to continue fostering synergies between our vineyards and winery, ensuring that each vintage reflects the authenticity and excellence of Talley’s estate sites.”
At the core of Talley Vineyards’ operations is a commitment to sustainability and stewardship. Reflecting more than 75 years of history in the Arroyo Grande Valley, the family’s philosophy centers around the long-term health of the land, its people, and the community. This ethos is exemplified in the SIP (Sustainability in Practice) certification of all vineyards and the adoption of farming practices that enhance soil health without relying on herbicides.
About Talley Vineyards
Founded in 1986, and rooted in four generations of family farming, Talley Vineyards stands as a testament to exceptional estate-grown and produced Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines which reflect the distinct cool-climate characteristics of the Arroyo Grande Valley, Edna Valley, and the San Luis Obispo Coast AVAs. At the heart of the family philosophy lies a dedication to minimal intervention and sustainable practices, ensuring each bottle captures the pure essence of its estate vineyards. To learn more, visit: talleyvineyards.com