Our co-founder and master winemaker, Mark Lyon has a rich history in wine growing and artisan winemaking. For Mark, it all started at the early age of 16 when Mark began to develop a deep seeded passion for fine wines while on his frequent family trips across Europe.
Mark’s passion brought him to study at the famed UC Davis Enology Department where 1978 he graduated with a B.S. in Fermentation Science. Soon after that, Mark was drawn to the unlimited potential of creating great wines in Sonoma County and accepted a job at Sebastiani Vineyards in Sonoma, California. Along with his new position, Mark’s father, Rusty, encouraged him to find a vineyard property within Sonoma County to cultivate his own grapes. He and his father bought a 122 acre vineyard in Alexander Valley in 1980 and began making his own wine soon after that.
For the past 36 years Mark has been focused on expanding his knowledge of winegrowing as well as crafting amazing wines particularly with Bordeaux Varietals. He’s also initiated joint research projects thru the winery with U.C. Davis. Because of this and community service, he won in 2005 the “Distinguished Alumni Award” at U.C. Davis given out every other year to only individual by the Viticulture and Enology Dept. He joins the ranks of past recipients such as Robert Mondavi and Justin Meyers to win this award. He was also named “Winemaker of the Year” by “Restaurant Wine” magazine, along with “Winemakers to Watch” by the S.F. Chronicle in 2004
The inaugural release of the 1999 “Alexander Valley” Cabernet (most grapes from his vineyard), which was the first Sebastiani Wine ever to be both on the cover of the Wine Spectator and to make “Top 100 wines of the Year”. The 2007 Alexander Valley Cabernet was chosen as the top two California Cabernets by the famous “Decanter” magazine by the famous wine critic Stephen Brooks. Quite a feat since it surpassed more expensive Napa Valley Cabernets at 2 to 4 X the price! Lately, Robert Parker gave Mark two 95 RP and one 93 RP on three 2010 Sonoma Cabernet blends and two 94 RP, one 93RP and one 90RP! All of this success never happened in the past for Sebastiani until he took over complete control of winemaking in 2000. Finally, Sebastiani amassed the most 90+ scores of ANY Cabernet producer in Sonoma County in the Millenial Era.
He currently lives in the town of Sonoma with his husband, Daniel Bazan Cisneros and enjoys the simplicity of small town life. He is actively involved in the community, by being a Board Member of the local AIDS charity, along with his involvement in local environmental efforts. His other interests are cooking and a love of Bordeaux Wines. He has done extensive touring of the Bordeaux region to amass more winemaking and “vigneron” techniques.
Sheila’s wine career actually started by being hired to handle the accounting duties for Mark’s vineyard business back in 1999. Although she has strong roots in both culinary world and financial worlds, this was her first proper introduction to the business of cultivating and selling wine grapes. Soon after, Sheila quickly applied herself by enrolling in courses at U.C. Davis to learn the complex rules associated with vineyard accounting. As time has moved on, Sheila has become more involved in the business side and in 2007 helped incorporate the business at which time she became the Chief Financial Officer. Aside from her strong finance and business background, Sheila brings a staunch advocacy for organic growing with a special interest in Biodynamic farming practices. As Eco Terreno embarks on the transitioning process of becoming 100% Biodynamic, she has taken co-leadership position in order ensure our vision becomes realized.