Meet the McIlroys behind the cellar door.
William McIlroy, Proprietor & Head Winemaker
Born in England, Will immigrated to the Bay Area with his family when he was a young boy. The seeds for McIlroy Cellars were planted in 1972 when the McIlroy's purchased a fifty-two acre farm on Westside Road in Sonoma County. Only seventeen at the time, Will then went on to study viticulture and enology at U.C. Davis. There he met his future wife, Merry, before they returned to Aquarius Ranch to raise their children and work alongside his parents on the vineyard. Then, in 1990, Will and Merry founded McIlroy Cellars. The first crush yielded 290 cases of Chardonnay and the inaugural vintage won a stunning 3 gold medals and 7 awards. Since then, Will has continued to pour his love and skill into each vintage of McIlroy Cellars.
Merry McIlroy, Proprietor
Born and raised in southern California, Merry majored in food science at U.C. Davis and received her Master's degree in Food Microbiology from the University of Wyoming. After marrying Will, she moved to Aquarius Ranch and worked in the food and wine industry. She simultaneously fell in love with the land, wine, and community. Merry has been the driving force behind McIlroy Cellars since its founding and remembers fondly the days when she was a one-woman marketing team, schlepping cases of McIlroy Cellars across Northern California in the back of her Ford Taurus.
Nicholas McIlroy, Assistant Winemaker
Nicholas has worked in almost every type of wine industry job; he has toiled in the field, on the crush pad, and in the tasting room. A recent graduate from San Francisco State in urban studies, he is currently working for wine distributors in Bay Area Costco stores (while moonlighting at the City of Berkeley's planning department). Nicholas is also learning the winemaking craft as assistant winemaker for McIlroy Cellars.
Julia McIlroy, Legal & Marketing Advisor
Julia was lucky enough to grow up on Aquarius Ranch and almost all of her favorite childhood memories involve the vineyard. Her first job when she five years old was hand-washing tasting room wine glasses at Davis Bynum winery, where her dad, Will, worked as winemaker. She left Sonoma County to attend law school, but has since returned to open her law practice and be a part of the family business.