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Red, White, And Pinot Noir: Marsella Family Vineyards
The Marsella family, from left, mom Kristi, daughter Kate, dad ‘Farmer’ John, daughter Liza and son Louie. Not pictured is daughter Alex. All are involved with running the Marsella Family Vineyards east of Oakdale on Orange Blossom Road. Photo By Sarah Lawson

Home is where the wine is for Marsella Family Vineyards, which has officially opened the barn doors to invite in visitors and wine aficionados from the surrounding areas.

The winery is at 13480 Orange Blossom Road, east of Oakdale, and offers a scenic atmosphere to pair with a variety of their in-house wine and an all-inclusive experience for all ages. The family recently hosted a Grand Opening of its Tasting Room.

There is so much to see inside the two-story barn but one of the main attractions is the gift shop where local merchandise can be bought along with your favorite bottle of wine or T-shirt.

Owners John and Kristi Marsella bought the property nine years ago and saw how rocky the soil was and knew that they could either plant potatoes or grapes and decided to go down the grapes route. John, or Farmer John as he is known now, began clearing the land to prepare for the process of planting the grapes. Within a few years of moving in, the vineyards were thriving and the focus turned toward making wine.

The couple had been interested in the wine making business for as long as they can remember they said but the real attraction to the wine scene began when they joined a wine club called Woof Woof 28 years ago. Members of the club would all go together to other vineyards and had the chance to buy plots of vines, learn to pick grapes and how to make the wine. Kristi found the club during the 25 years she put in working for Gallo.

Their four children also have followed the same path, with Kate, 29; Alex, 27; Louie, 24; and Liza, 22, all playing a part in the new family winery venture, spreading the love for family and wine to everyone who comes to visit.

Not only does the family make all sorts of wine but they also are working with other spirits that they hope to incorporate in the future of the vineyard for selling.

The first bottles of wine from the family vineyards were for their own consumption or for gifts but that eventually gave way to bottling and selling, recording their first sale this year.

The very first wine they produced was called Angelica, named for a wine made originally by Spanish friars and the Marsella Family version borne out of some neglected vines that a friend offered to Farmer John. To this day it is one of the most popular drinks they offer.

The Orange Blossom location, the family believes, sets them up as a great destination for those looking for a relaxing place to visit.

“We are going to have a good local draw and we want that; we want to draw families in to bring their dogs and loved ones and just hang out and have a good time,” Kristi stated.

The ‘kids’ also have their favorites; Kate is partial to the Giorgio, a drinkable and versatile red blend that was named after their late dog. For Louie, it is the Beelzebob, one of the types of Angelicas, while for Liza it is the Angelicas in general, though she personally prefers a sweet dessert wine.

The winery’s business hours are by appointment or event; they encourage booking the barn for events such as work parties, birthdays or weddings. Bookings can be made by calling Farmer John at 209-602-8031. During your visit, you can enjoy a Full Flight for $10 that includes two-ounce pours of three table wines along with half-ounce pours of two dessert wines. Individual wine tastings are $2 and there are also soft drinks and hot chocolate available for $2 for under age visitors.

The Wine Shop on site also features items from local producers and artisans and you can purchase the Marsella Family Vineyards wines by the bottle or by the case.

Everyone in the family agreed that the three best words to describe their winery are joyful, simple and authentic, and Farmer John made sure to add in his own fourth word as ‘family-palooza.’

The best way to keep updated on future events happening at the Marsella Family Vineyards, is through all of their social media such as Instagram: mfvineyards, Facebook: Marsella Family Vineyards and on their website:

Gift shop
The gift shop inside the barn at Marsella Family Vineyards on Orange Blossom Road east of Oakdale not only features their bottles of wine and apparel but also merchandise from local establishments and artisans in town. Photo By Sarah Lawson
Wine flight
During the recent grand opening of their Tasting Room, the Marsella Family Vineyards was selling wine flights that included an Enigma white wine 2020, Giorgio red blend 2020, Primo Vino pinot noir 2020, Mission Angelica San Giovanni 2021 and Mission Angelica Beelzebob 2021. Photo By Sarah Lawson