(2012) Marc & Maggie Honored as 2011 Wine Industry Persons of the Year

What happens in the wine industry when passion, persistence and a love of Pinot Noir blend? You get Marc Goldberg and Maggie D’Ambrosia, honored as the 2011 Paso Robles Wine Industry Persons of the Year. The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance presented this award at the organization’s Annual Gala, held Friday evening (January 20,2012) at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. Marc and Maggie shared an enthusiasm for Pinot Noir, but their true passion culminated when Marc swept Maggie off her feet over a bottle of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 1959. It wasn’t until 1989, after Marc and Maggie moved across the country to accommodate their thriving careers as hospital administrators, did they buy what was then a barley farm on the westside of Paso Robles Wine Country. Marc’s longtime dream of running a winery after retirement finally began.

Marc and Maggie discovered that Paso Robles had the ideal terroir after tasting a bottle of 1976 Hoffman Mountain Ranch Pinot Noir. They were inspired by the legendary enologist Andre Tchelistcheff, who, along with Doctor Stan Hoffman, had identified the ideal microclimate of Paso Robles’ Templeton Gap as possessing superlative conditions to grow Burgundian style Pinot Noir.

Kenneth Volk graciously offered his winery Wild Horse Vineyard & Winery to Marc and Maggie to produce their first two vintages (1993 and 1994) until they could purchase the needed equipment to operate on their own. Marc, now paying it forward, is enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge with other young winemakers who are just starting in the industry.

Marc and Maggie are involved in every aspect of the winery, from vineyard to bottle, in the true Burgundian model of a “monopole!” Marc refers to himself as the “wine shepherd,” believing that Windward Vineyard is the true winemaker. When Marc is not in the vineyard or the cellar, you will find both Marc and Maggie in the tasting room, extending family-like hospitality to all guests who enter. Maggie’s mom, Agnes D’Ambrosia, welcomes guests as well with homemade biscotti and pitzelle. Marc and Maggie also have four wonderful children - Susan, Karen, Leslie and Justin - who inspire Marc and Maggie to live their passion each day.

Beyond their work at Windward Vineyard, Marc and Maggie are active members in the community. Every year in June, they produce the Paso Pinot & Paella Festival, gifting 100 percent of the proceeds back into the community. Pinot & Paella has grown into a sell-out event featuring more than 20 Paso Robles Pinot Noirs and 20 local chefs. Additionally, Pinot & Paella raises upwards of $15,000, which is donated to organizations like the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation.

Marc and Maggie are huge promoters of both Pinot Noir, as well as the Paso Robles AVA. Now, with over 21 years in operation, Marc and Maggie are just as passionate as they were with their first vintage … and as Marc likes to say, “And NOW we’re finally old enough to drink it!”  


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