The name “Prodigal” stems from the career paths that Stephen Russell has taken. As an early (1960) graduate of the UC Davis Enology program, but not a member of a wine family, he was the first formally-trained enologist to be hired by the Gallo’s. After discovering that corporate winemaking didn’t offer the future he had envisioned, and after attempting unsuccessfully to raise the money to purchase Freemark Abbey, with a twenty-something’s wisdom he decided to leave the industry. After returning to school (DVM and PhD) and an academic career in cancer research, he and his wife, Mary, returned to California to found Quinta Santa Rosa Vineyard / Prodigal Wines in 2001. The ‘prodigal son’ had returned!

Steeply sloping Quinta Santa Rosa Vineyard is located on Santa Rosa Road in the southeastern corner of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. Its four acres are soley planted to Pinot Noir – the eastern block contains Dijon clones 667 (on 3309) and 777 (on 5C) in equal amounts, while the western block consists of clone 115.  In addition to the Estate Grown Quinta Santa Rosa wine, Steve creates a Sta. Rita Hills Appellation Cuvée Pinot Noir using grapes from the estate vineyard and neighboring vineyards such as Fiddlestix and Rio Vista vineyards. In special years, Steve has also released a single-vineyard Fiddlestix wine and a single clone (2A) wine. In addition to these Pinot Noir wines, Steve also produces Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris wines.




PRODUCER: Prodigal VARIETAL: Pinot Noir
REGION: Sta. Rita Hills ALCOHOL: 13.8%


Pours a bing cherry red with a nose of bright cherry, spice and floral notes. Medium bodied on the tongue with tart cherry, white pepper notes and tight tannins. This wine opens up to offer round, lush berry flavours, spice, vanilla, violets and some pepper. A long lingering finish.