Doug Margerum has been involved in the Santa Barbara food and wine scene for over 35 years. Upon graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1981, his family purchased WINE CASK. In 1994 the WINE CASK became one of 74 restaurants in the world to earn the Wine Spectator Grand Award. Doug sold the WINE CASK in 2007.
Doug launched the Santa Barbara WINE CASK Futures Program in 1984, which elevated the exposure nationally of Santa Barbara Wine Country. From 1986 to 1998, Doug owned VITA NOVA winery with Bob Lindquist (Qupé) and Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat). In 2001, Margerum Wine Company began in a tiny 240 square foot cold room behind Brander Vineyards. The philosophy: return wine making to its previous form of production – handcrafted and personal.
Margerum Wine Company produces limited quantities of wines made from grapes grown both our Estate Vineyard and grapes purchased from other top vineyards from in and around Santa Barbara County. The 18 acre Estate Vineyard is planted exclusively to Rhône grape varietals. The acreage is divided between limestone hillsides and gravelly alluvial flatlands along Alamo Pintado Creek. The wines are now made at their state-of-the-art winery located on Industrial Way in Buellton. Margerum carefully selects the vineyards with meticulous attention to detail in all factors influencing the ultimate quality of the wines, including pruning, soil, climate, and farming methods.
Margerum primarily produces M5 (a Rhône varietal red blend), single vineyard Syrahs, a co-fermented Syrah called ÜBER, SYBARITE Sauvignon Blanc, M5 White (a blend of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, and Picpoul Blanc) and RIVIERA Rose. Doug works with the top vineyards from the warm, eastern end of the valley in Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara to the cold vineyards of Sta. Rita Hills towards the western end of the valley.
In 2014, Margerum released BARDEN wines – an exploration of cold climate grapes grown in and around the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. BARDEN is Doug's middle name and its English meaning is "Lives near the boar's den"... thusly they have adorned the label with an image of the wild boar that is pervasive in the area's vineyards.
Doug's unique background with retail wine sales, as the sommelier/owner of a Grand Award restaurant and as a wine maker made him sought out by a variety of wineries to assist in the formation of their brands. Doug has consulted for Chêne Bleu super Rhône wines in France, Cimarone Winery, Jamie Slone Wines and continues to consult for La Encantada Vineyards, Happy Canyon Vineyards, and Cent'Anni Wines all in Santa Barbara County, as well as the Santa Barbara wines of Paradise Springs Winery based in Virginia.
The MWC Mission Statement: Margerum Wine Company is committed to creating handcrafted wines using only the highest quality grapes so that we can make wines that are indicative of the place where they are grown. We strive to make wines naturally, to make wines that have individual characteristics and to make wines with personality. The scale of production is kept at a level where we can touch and know the wine as it is raised to the bottle – the antithesis of mass production. The standards of quality are measured by our criteria – not by external sources. We make wines we personally enjoy – some to drink young; others for long aging in cool cellars for our children to enjoy. Share our wines with your family and friends at the table where they belong.