Our Journey

Michael and Lois Sones met in the mid-1980s while working at sea on the Carla Costacruise ship – he, a social photographer; she, a massage therapist on break from medical social work.
Michael is British, born and raised in England, the biggest per capitawine market in the world. Soon after completing a course in photography, Michael joined the cruise ships as a photographer.  Good food and good wine play a big part in life aboard cruise ships, and in this social, maritime environment his love of wine developed.
Lois is a native Californian who grew up in a social family where good food was the norm at every meal. As an adult, she learned how the pleasures of good wine enhance the experience of good food, especially when shared with friends.  One of her early and most pleasant wine memories is of good friends, a balmy summer’s evening on a boat in the Sacramento Delta, lovely French cheeses with a chewy, crackly baguette, and a 1978 Ridge York Creek Zinfandel.  Lois, an avid cook and one-time caterer, brings an understanding of the sensory aspects of wine blending and aging.
After spending 15 years at sea, Michael came to California, where he completed a degree in Fermentation Science at U.C. Davis in 1995. As Michael, Lois and their daughter, Michaela, make their home in Santa Cruz, Michael turned to the Santa Cruz Mountains to develop his winemaking skills.  He began his winemaking journey working at Ridge Vineyards, Bonny Doon Vineyard, David Bruce Winery and Bargetto Family Winery. Michael and Lois began making their own Sones Cellars wines as a virtual winery while Michael was working at David Bruce, finally opening their own winery on the West Side in Santa Cruz in 2008.

Thus began the journey into Sones wine ….  

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