The name “Prodigal” stems from the career paths that Stephen Russell has taken. As an early (1960) graduate of the UC Davis Enology program, but not a member of a wine family, he was the first formally-trained enologist to be hired by the Gallo's. After discovering that corporate winemaking didn’t offer the future he had envisioned, and after attempting unsuccessfully to raise the money to purchase Freemark Abbey, with a twenty-something’s wisdom he decided to leave the industry. After returning to school (DVM and PhD) and an academic career in cancer research, he and his wife, Mary, returned to California to found Quinta Santa Rosa Vineyard / Prodigal Wines in 2001. The ‘prodigal son’ had returned!
From Quinta Santa Rose vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills. Planted with clones 115, 667 and 777, the cool marine climate in which the grapes are produced yields a rich, structured and refined Pinot Noir that is best appreciated when drunk cooler than room temperature.