Thomas Fogarty Winery is borne of the confluence of innovation, opportunity and experience. Founders Thomas Fogarty and Michael Martella collaborated to create what was to become one of the most notable and celebrated Estate Wine Producers in California.
In 1976 Dr Thomas Fogarty, a practicing heart surgeon and noted inventor of medical devices decided that he would dedicate his approximately 350 acres in the north end of the Santa Cruz Mountains to open space. For inclusion in the “Williamson Act”, the property would need an active agricultural purpose. The idea appealed to Dr Fogarty, but he was undecided as to what types of crops he would cultivate. Initially, Dr Fogarty considered planting the entire property to Kiwi fruit, but thankfully he reconsidered after a few fellow Stanford physicians introduced him to the wines of Burgundy and local producers David Bruce, Mount Eden and Ridge.
Once he had made the decision to plant the Estate to the cool-weather varieties Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, a mutual acquaintance introduced Dr Fogarty to Michael Martella, a fourth generation grape grower in California. In 1977 Martella and Fogarty began removing brush to plant the first two vineyards on the property. Over the next four years, with the occasional advice and guidance of Santa Cruz Mountain pioneers Jeffrey Patterson, Jim and Bob Varner and Jim Beauregard, the six “core” vineyards of the Fogarty Estate were planted.
The almost thirty acres under vine are today farmed organically with minimal (if any) irrigation, and the property remains in the Williamson Act, which means that the entire Estate of 350 acres is preserved as Heritage Oak and Fir forest.
Now, we carry forth the vision of our founders, Dr Thomas Fogarty and Michael Martella, hand-farming and raising these wines from the small mountain vineyards of our Estate. We hope you will enjoy and share the passion for these small lots of lovingly created wines.
Tom Fogarty Jr, Managing Principal
Tom Jr was ten years old when the first vines were planted at Thomas Fogarty and has seen the winery grow from its inception. After completing the Wine Marketing program at Sonoma State University he earned a degree in Business Management. Besides his experience in the Wine Industry Tom Jr has worked in the automotive sector doing brand development for manufacturers including Ferrari, Bentley, Maserati and Lamborghini.
Nathan Kandler, Winemaker
Nathan graduated from Fresno State with a degree in Enology in 2003 and worked at Testarossa in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Torbreck Winery in Australia’s Barossa Valley. Nathan has worked here since 2004 and became winemaker officially in 2012.
Michael Martella, Co-Founder
Michael Martella is Thomas Fogarty Winery’s founding winemaker and first employee. From the beginning of the winery’s concept, Dr. Fogarty and Michael together envisioned the Estate Vineyards and Winery to be one of California’s premier quality producers. In 1980, they set in motion their 30 – 35 year plan to achieve their goals. Michael was entrusted to make it successful.
Julio Deras, Vineyard Manager
Julio has been with the winery since 1987 and has been developing the farming program ever since. Julio is a native of El Salvador and has been in agriculture his whole life.
Anne Krolczyk, Director of National Sales
Anne has worked for the Fogarty Family Estate since 1991, providing sales support and education to all of our wholesale partners in the US, Canada and Asia. With over two decades with the winery, Anne has been involved with every aspect of the business from production to distribution and is an authoritative representative of our family. An Upstate New York native, she earned her A.A.S in Culinary Arts and Management at Paul Smith College and her BS at Florida International University, Miami before moving to the Bay Area in 1988. In her free time she enjoys travel, mountain biking, snowboarding and is an avid gardener.
Thomas Fogarty Winery was founded in 1978 with the planting of our first vineyard by two men whose complimentary personalities and skill sets allowed them as a team to turn a dream into reality. Dr Thomas Fogarty moved to the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1969 to practice medicine at Stanford Hospital and develop medical device technology. Quickly he fell in love with the rugged terrain and natural beauty of the region and began to buy land surrounding his new home. By 1977 Fogarty had accumulated over 300 acres, and economic reality dictated that if he wanted to keep the land he would need to enter into an open space agreement and start an agricultural business. After considering several options (including Kiwi farming), Dr Fogarty was convinced by some older Stanford physicians to plant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the lean soil of the cool untested northern Santa Cruz Mountains. As he learned about grape growing and winemaking he was introduced to a number of people recommended to him as experts. Among this group was Michael Martella. Martella, a fourth generation grape grower, impressed with his knowledge and his down-to-earth approach to the entire process of wine growing, from the vineyard to the bottle. Michael became the first employee of Thomas Fogarty Winery in 1979 and directed the winery for almost thirty years, developing the vineyards and the wine. Martella’s practical knowledge and hard work along with Fogarty’s business instincts and “Midas touch” built, over nearly forty years, what we have today.