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Proprietors Nancy and Craig Stoller have a deep-rooted history in the wine industry. Glen Stoller founded the family owned and operated Sunridge Nurseries in 1977, and Craig is a third generation vine grower following in his father’s footsteps. What sets Sunridge Nurseries apart is their exclusive relationships with French, Portuguese, and Spanish dignitaries to import certified wine grape selections that can be traced back to the original mother vines in each of those countries.
Craig joined the family business upon graduation from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1991. He started out on the road learning about the wine regions, meeting winegrowers, and of course, sampling the finished product…the wine. Now as CEO of Sunridge Nurseries, Stoller has enjoyed watching the industry grow while being a part of the front end of supplying vines to many winegrowers across the state. Nancy has focused her creative energy towards public relations and marketing for the winery.
In 2002 Craig and Nancy planted a certified increase block in Templeton to produce cuttings for the nursery. Two years later they began to utilize the grapes rather than letting the fruit drop on the ground, which is customary for most nursery operations. The Stollers planted most Zinfandel clones available, as well as some newly introduced ENTAV selections; ENTAV is the highest governmental authority in France responsible for the selection and preservation of the best French wine grape clones. The Stollers planted the mother block in this climate so the varieties could be better evaluated for their clonal differences. “The purpose of this particular vineyard was to not only use the budwood for propagation in the nursery, but also to show wine growers the potential for good wines from these clones.” Sunridge Nurseries’ slogan has always been “Where the vintage begins,” and developing wines from these high quality clones was naturally the next step.
In the fall of 2007, Sextant opened the doors to their first tasting room in San Luis Obispo. Ever growing, in the winter of 2009, Sextant moved its tasting room to the historic town site of Old Edna located in the heart of the Edna Valley. In addition, Sextant secured its own production facility in Paso Robles. In the spring of 2010, with a presence in Paso Robles, the Stoller’s were inspired to unveil and open their Paso Robles Barrel and Tasting Room to guests. In the beginning of 2011, they had the opportunity to own a beautiful piece of property on the much-desired 46 West. They decided this was where they would build their Estate Winery and Hospitality Center, and call Paso Robles home. The Stollers’ story from vines to wines has come full-circle as they have combined their passion for fine wine, gourmet cuisine, and love of the ocean in creating Sextant Wines.