Meet Our Winemaking Team
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 became General Manager of Talley Vineyards in 1991 and now serves as President of Talley Vineyards and Talley Farms. He lives at the edge of Talley Farms with his wife Johnine and daughters Elizabeth and Olivia. Brian loves cooking, wine and travel as well as running, cycling and golf.
Eric Johnson, Winemaker
Winemaker Eric Johnson 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.
Eric was raised on a family farm in Los Banos, California. “I appreciate the tradition of quality that the Talley family has fostered since they began farming the Arroyo Grande Valley in 1948,” he said. “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 has traveled to France, Italy, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile for the opportunity to explore wine grape regions or work harvests. In his spare time, Eric enjoys outdoor sports, food and wine. He lives in San Luis Obispo.
Nicole Bertotti Pope, Assistant Winemaker
Nicole Bertotti Pope joined Talley Vineyards in 2010 after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences and a Minor in Psychology. After extensive travel and work in California, Australia and South Africa, she joined Domaine Carneros in the Napa Valley where she served as Enologist. She came to Talley Vineyards in the same capacity and was promoted to Assistant Winemaker. Nicole is an avid athlete and played Division I volleyball at Cal Poly. When she's not at the winery, Nicole enjoys beach volleyball, surfing, hiking, camping, cooking and travel.
Travis Monk, Vineyard Manager
Travis Monk grew up in Arroyo Grande where he developed a love of agriculture. He came to Talley Vineyards in 2008 while attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Travis graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Business with a focus in Viticulture and Crop Science.
Travis oversees Talley Vineyards' 165 acres of wine grapes, manages leased vineyards and provides viticultural oversight for vineyards that supply grapes for the Bishop's Peak program. He also manages Talley Farms' avocado and lemon orchards and oversees maintenance of the extensive landscaping at Talley Vineyards. In his spare time, Travis enjoys hunting and golf. He lives in rural Arroyo Grande just down the street from Oliver's Vineyard.