The Story of Garys' Vineyard

The Story of Garys' Vineyard

The Garys’ Vineyard symbolizes generations of friendship between the Franscioni and Pisoni families.  It has been named “one of the most famous vineyards in California” by Lettie Teague in the Wall Street Journal.  Its enduring success is the result of deep multi-family bonds, an amazing location, and a commitment to quality and hard work. The Garys’ Vineyard founders, Gary Franscioni and Gary Pisoni, have known each other their entire lives. Their parents were close friends, and the two played together from the time they were in the crib. As lifelong friends, they grew up in the same community and shared generations of farming history. Each originally followed in their parents’ footsteps growing vegetables on their family farms in the Salinas Valley.

The Story of Garys' Vineyard (Continued)

In 1996, Gary Franscioni heard of an undeveloped 50-acre piece of property in the middle of the Santa Lucia Highlands that was going to hit the market. He immediately contacted his friend Gary Pisoni, who had begun gaining recognition for growing high quality Pinot Noir nearby.  The two Garys quickly met up on River Road. They laugh as they recount the story: “We parked a few miles from the site as we did not want to be noticed. We jumped a fence, crawled through some brush and then crossed a creek.  A short hike later, we were in the middle of a gently sloping open field that had never been planted and would be the perfect site for Pinot Noir. We instantly fell in love with the rocky soil. We quickly scurried off the property and headed back to our trucks before anyone would spot us.”

The two Garys took the leap from being long-time friends to partners and planted the site in 1997.  It began on a handshake, and now continues into the next generation, where their family farming legacy has been embraced by their four sons. The trust and admiration the two Garys have for one another is palpable, and their families continue to enjoy an enduring friendship and business partnership.

  • Vineyard Worker Picking Grapes
  • Pruning Vines
  • Grape Harvest
  • Picking Grapes
  • Vineyard Workers

The Grapes

Garys’ Vineyard is in the heart of the Santa Lucia Highlands, covering approximately 50 acres on an eastward-facing alluvial terrace overlooking the Salinas Valley. 46 acres are planted to Pinot Noir, and the remaining 4 acres are Syrah. The Pinot Noir is primarily planted to the Pisoni clone, supplemented by Calera, Mt. Eden and clone 23. The Syrah is the Estrella River clone. Grapes are sold to a handful of high-end wineries, including the Franscioni’s ROAR brand and the Pisoni’s Lucia brand.

All vineyard farming is done by hand, and yields are kept very low – typically around 3 tons per acre. The two Garys have an unwavering focus on quality, and a talented, loyal team has been tending to these same vines for years. Shoot thinning, leaf removal, fruit dropping, harvest-all done by hand with the focus on growing the best possible wine grapes. This commitment to quality and investment in their team has been critical to producing premium wines.

The soil is Arroyo Seco Sandy Loam, which drains well, and average rainfall is 10-13 inches per year. Morning fog and cool, steady winds from the Monterey Bay establish a long and steady growing season for the vines.

Vineyard Map

Located 20 miles Southeast of the Monterey Bay, Garys' Vineyard is nestled in the heart of the Santa Lucia Highlands. The land maintains a 5-degree slope up to the base of the mountain, with elevation reaching up to 400 feet. To the south is our neighboring vineyard, Soberanes Vineyard, another co-farmed property of our two families. Our 40 men & women crew work diligently on both of these vineyards throughout the 10 month growing season, in addition to Rosella's, Sierra Mar & Pisoni Vineyard.

Vineyard MapClick to Zoom Map

Connect with us to learn more about our family partnership and winegrowing legacies.

Pisoni Family Vineyards 800-270-2525
ROAR Wines 800-540-ROAR