Our team strives to bring the essence of place from the land to the bottle!
Nicole Bertotti Pope • Winemaker
After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences and Minor in Psychology, Nicole set off to explore the vineyards of the world. She traveled and worked in California, Australia, and South Africa, gaining extensive knowledge of unique practices from around the globe. Nicole landed at Domaine Carneros in the Carneros Region of Napa Valley where she served as Enologist. She honed her skills producing cool climate Pinot Noir and sparkling wine. A position as Enologist at Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande, known also for world class cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, brought her back to the Central Coast. She soon moved on to Assistant Winemaker. Nicole came on as Winemaker at Stolo Vineyards in 2011 and continues to utilize her knowledge of cool climate wines to produce beautiful representations of our unique vineyard location.
Maria Stolo Bennetti • Managing Partner
Maria has been involved in the wine industry for twenty years. Her background encompasses direct and wholesale sales as well as marketing for boutique wineries primarily from the Napa and Sonoma regions. In 2004, Maria partnered with Don and Charlene Stolo to develop Stolo Vineyards’ estate label. All three partners saw the potential in the ultra-coastal vineyard location for premium cool climate growing. Over the years, as the exposure continues to grow, Maria’s focus for the label remains on quality and place. She continues to champion the unique location of the vineyard through the establishment of the Pacific Coast Wine Trail as well as being a founding member in the development of a new coastal AVA in San Luis Obispo County.
Diego Aguirre • General Manager
Always passionate about agricultural business, Diego earned a degree in that field with an emphasis in economics from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. He began working at Stolo in the tasting room while he was in school and is now general manager. Being part of a tight-knit community is his favorite part about working in the wine world, specifically how everyone supports each other and works together.
Diego uses his marketing prowess to highlight Stolo’s unique growing conditions and farming practices. In an industry that is famous for big, bold reds and sweet whites, Stolo focuses on cool-climate, medium-bodied reds and clean, crisp whites. He loves that his job is letting people know about Stolo’s agriculturally conservative growing practices and why they translate to better, more natural tasting wine.
Lucas Pope • Vineyard Consultant
Lucas came to us in 2010 with the expertise that our boutique vineyard was in need of. With a Bachelors of Science in Wine and Viticulture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Lucas along with Nicole, set off to explore the vineyards and work various harvests around the world. Upon return, he founded Coastal Range Vineyards, a vineyard consulting company, focused on small ultra-premium vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He was drawn back to the Central Coast and began consulting for Stolo; bringing with him the advanced knowledge and techniques learned both abroad and in Northern California.