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Biographies

Brian Talley, Owner/Winegrower

Brian Talley is a third generation farmer born and raised in Arroyo Grande.  While attending UC Berkeley, where he earned degrees in History and Natural Resource Economics, he worked in a wine shop called Curds and Whey where he fell in love with wine.

Brian began his career in the family business at age 12 when he started harvesting vegetables at Talley Farms.  He became General Manager of Talley Vineyards in 1991 and now serves as President of Talley Vineyards and Talley Farms.  Brian is recognized as a leader in the local wine industry and was cofounder of the World of Pinot Noir, has served as President of the San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association and been recognized by both Robert Parker and the local wine industry as a Wine Industry Person of the Year.

Brian loves cooking, wine and travel as well as running, cycling and golf.  He lives at the edge of Talley Farms with his wife Johnine and daughters Elizabeth and Olivia.

Johnine Talley, Owner

Johnine Talley was born in Monterey California and lived in Germany for 5 years before her family settled in Paso Robles.  It was during her stay in Germany that she visited her first vineyard and winery.  Johnine graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Business Management.  Her senior project was to study the feasibility of a Wine Marketing Certificate Program which became the progenitor of the Wine and Viticulture Program at Cal Poly.  It was during this time that she began her career in the wine industry as an intern for the Central Coast Wine Classic, the largest charity wine auction on the Central Coast.

Johnine joined Talley Vineyards in 1988 to work in the tasting room.  She has served in a number of roles at the winery over the years including Tasting Room Manager and National Sales Manager and she managed the construction of the current Tasting Room in 2002.  She currently oversees the winery’s administrative functions including Human Resources.

Johnine focuses much of her energy on philanthropy and was a founding member of the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation and a founder of the Fund for Vineyard and Farm Workers.  Her early travels fostered a love of travel, food and wine and she enjoys gardening as well.  She lives at the edge of Talley Farms with her husband Brian and daughters Elizabeth and Olivia.

Eric Johnson, Winemaker

Winemaker Eric Johnson was raised on a family farm in Los Banos, California.  He is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he studied Wine and Viticulture and Agricultural Business Management. He joined Talley Vineyards in 2007 to work in the Tasting Room, became a harvest intern later that year and served as Enologist until 2010 when he became Winemaker.

Given his background in farming, Eric has a unique understanding of the role that the land plays in determining wine quality. “I believe that the world’s greatest wines are defined by place as opposed to winemaking manipulation.” In addition, Eric has a great work ethic and passion for excellence. “A great winemaker needs flair, imagination and the inspiration of divine discontent.”

Eric is very active in the local wine scene and serves on the Board of Directors for the World of Pinot Noir and is a member of the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Advisory Council.  He has traveled to France, Italy, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile for the opportunity to explore wine regions or work harvests. In his spare time, Eric enjoys outdoor sports, food and wine.  He lives in San Luis Obispo.