Eric Johnson grew up on a farm in Los Banos California where his family grew apricots and raised sheep and pigs. While attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, he was introduced to wine by a roommate who came from a winegrowing family based in Sonoma County. Eric became enamored of wine and winemaking and changed his major to Agricultural Business Management with a minor in Wine and Viticulture, just as this program was being established at Cal Poly.
Eric began his career in the wine industry at Bianchi Winery in Paso Robles. He joined Talley Vineyards as a tasting room attendant in 2007 and served as a harvest intern that year. He served in various roles, including Enologist, before he became the Winemaker in 2010. Eric sums up his winemaking philosophy as follows: “grow great grapes, nail the pick and get out of the way. As the great Burgundian vigneron Frédéric Mugnier said when I visited him, ‘I always achieve more when I do less.’”
Eric is active in the wine industry and serves on the Board of Directors of the World of Pinot Noir. He lives in San Luis Obispo with his wife Cait and enjoys cooking and drinking great wines from around the world.