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MEET OUR TEAMDiverse and dedicated. Our people help shape our future.

Nion McEvoy

Owner & President

Nion McEvoy has a knack for bringing passionate people and projects together. McEvoy Ranch’s President since 2014, Nion worked previously in the business affairs departments of the William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills and Wescom Productions. A graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz and the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law, Nion is also Chairman and CEO of Chronicle Books. He currently serves as Commissioner for the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and on the boards of the SF Film Society, the UCSF Foundation, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

In between all the work, Nion is also a poet and art collector. His love of music is often intertwined with his responsibilities at McEvoy Ranch and Chronicle Books. Nion is a former meditation teacher, a drummer in two bands, and he has three grown children. You might say he’s anything but typical and that’s perfect.

SAMANTHA DORSEY

General Manager

A 15-year McEvoy Ranch veteran, Samantha Dorsey has been the General Manager since 2016. Given her tenure, Samantha is intimately familiar with every aspect of the property including our unique microclimates that provide a distinct terroir to our orchard groves, vines, and gardens. She also exhibits many of the core values that we cherish including passion, integrity, and curiosity.

After receiving her BA in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College in 2001, Samantha began her career with us. In the early years, she managed the Ranch’s olive tree nursery, propagating and selling thousands of olive trees that now thrive throughout the Western United States. In 2007, Samantha was promoted to Vineyard Manager and oversaw the initial release of McEvoy Ranch wine offerings. As her knowledge grew, so did her responsibilities. In 2013, she was elevated, once again, to Farming Manager giving her oversight of the entire property. This role focused her directly on our organic and sustainable certification requirements including those with the California Certified Organic Farmers, fiscal management, and supervision of a diverse crew.

As General Manager, Samantha is shepherding us into our next stage of growth. She continues to lead workshops on olive orchard management at the Ranch and shares her expertise regarding sustainable farming with other growers in many areas including California, Oregon, Arizona, Mexico, and New Zealand.

Samantha is fluent in Spanish and English and can often be found walking the grounds with her faithful four-legged Catahoula friend, Bluebell.

BLAKE YARGER

Winemaker

Winemaker Blake Yarger was first introduced to farming while studying Buddhism at Green Gulch Farm and Zen Center in Muir Beach, California at the age of 18. He came to McEvoy Ranch after pursuing Agroecology at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, spending his first few years in the gardens and the olive mill. Blake's deep love for the land and desire to make wine from Marin County inform his involvement in all aspects of winemaking, from field to bottle.

In 2014, he was promoted to Winemaker with full responsibilities for coordinating efforts with the Farming Manager in the vineyards, calling the pick at harvest, tasting individual barrel lots, ensuring quality is at its highest, and our wine style is consistent. His work has given him the chance to explore the distinct qualities of the McEvoy Ranch terroir.

In 2015, he began developing a new collection of wines that allowed him to showcase vineyard blocks and appellations that were off the estate Ranch. The result is Saimuun – wines from select sites that receive the same care and attention as all wines bearing our name. In 2016, he debuted a new limited production Pinot Noir from our Azaya estate vineyard. We think that his penchant for mushroom hunting in his spare time is the perfect complement for our earthy Pinot Noirs.

We love Blake’s never-ending ability to see beyond the immediate and to collaborate with others to enhance our rich legacy. That, and the fact he makes a mean craft beer at his home in Petaluma.

Deborah Rogers

DEBORAH ROGERS

Mill Master

Deborah Rogers, similar to our Founder, has been a trailblazer in the California’s olive oil business since the early 1990’s. A co-founder of The Olive Press in Sonoma, Deborah has been recognized worldwide as one of the industry’s pioneers. In 2014, Deborah joined McEvoy Ranch as Mill Master and Olive Oil Production Manager responsible for maintaining the high standards of our estate-grown artisan olive oil. 

Deborah’s expertise includes milling operations, working with growers to improve their fruit quality, olive oil sensory analysis, and is a key proponent of the industry’s efforts to promote organic and sustainable certifications. A graduate of the San Luis Obispo’s California Polytechnic University, she is a charter member and past board member of the California Olive Oil Council, a board member of the California Olive Oil Commission, and a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International. Deborah is also a respected judge for several international olive oil competitions including those in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Japan, and Aukland, New Zealand.

In 2016, Deborah led the charge to develop our McEvoy Ranch Culinary Collection including items inspired by our olive oil and gardens. Her sense of adventure – both in travel and culinary appetite – continue to motivate us.

Deborah lives in the quaint town of Glen Ellen surrounded by olive and fruit trees at her home and is a passionate beekeeper.

Ria D’Aversa

RIA D’AVERSA

Farming Manager

With more than a decade of horticulture, viticulture, and project management experience that spans New York, Vermont, San Francisco, Chianti in Italy, and Sonoma County, we love the depth that Ria D’Aversa brings to this position. A native of New Jersey with deep farming roots in Vermont, Ria has a Botany degree from the University of Vermont and a Masters from UC Davis in Horticulture/Agronomy with a Viticulture focus. She has always enjoyed working with her hands. In the beginning, it was with pastry dough as a chef-in-training in Florence. Lucky for us, she soon moved on to work harvest in Tuscany and the rest, as they say, is history.

Ria’s experience includes working with the California Academy of Sciences - a leader in promoting biodiversity on a global scale, the New York Botanical Gardens – in a conservation and research capacity, and with several wineries (in Italy and Northern California) working with both olive trees, olive oil production, and vineyard development. In her role as McEvoy Ranch Farming Manager, Ria will work closely with Winemaking to ensure our strict certification standards are constantly met and that our orchards and vineyards deliver consistent quality fruit. Ria brings renewed energy toward our focus on a balanced agriculture ecosystem within our unique parcel of land.

Tri-lingual, Ria is fluent in Italian, Spanish, and English (and can swear in all three too!) An active member of the American Vineyard Foundation, she and her fiancé, a winemaker, live in Santa Rosa.

Maurizio Castelli

MAURIZIO CASTELLI

Consulting Winemaker & Agronomist

Dr. Maurizio Castelli, an agronomist and enologist originally from Pistoia, played an integral part in our creation and evolution as makers of exceptional extra virgin olive oil. As the story goes, Nan McEvoy called him to discuss the best Italian olive varieties to plant, and three days later, he was in Marin County advising her. The relationship continues today and it was a natural step when we began our foray into wine to rely on his expertise again.

A pioneer who helped to create such renowned wines as Col d'Orcia's Poggio al Vento Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, Mastrojanni's Brunello Schiena d'asino and Poderi Boscarelli's Vino Nobile, Castelli has more than 40 years of experience in winemaking and consulting all over the world, including at the famed Badia a Coltibuono in Tuscany. He travels to California several times a year to work at the ranch during the various stages of our olive oil and wine production, as well as to celebrate each harvest with us.

Nan McEvoy

NAN MCEVOY

Founder

Being regarded as a pioneer in her field was business as usual for Nan McEvoy. Her grandfather, Michael De Young, founded the San Francisco Chronicle in 1865 and Nan started there as a cub reporter, a rare position for a woman at the time. She worked her way up and eventually served as Chairwoman of the Board from 1981 to 1995. When a director's bylaw forced her into retirement at age 72, Nan set about doing what she does best—making things happen—and McEvoy Ranch was born. Always an activist with an adventurous spirit, she was an early member of the Peace Corps and John D. Rockefeller's Population Council. Nan was named Food Artisan of the Year by Bon Appetit in 2003.

Nan’s passing in March 2015 at age 95 reminded us all to live every moment to its full potential and to continually seek out new opportunities…even when it goes against conventional wisdom. Her vision and drive inspire us to be respectful of the natural beauty that surrounds us whilst curating our inner entrepreneur. 

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