Winemaker Ryan Aura is committed to crafting ultra-fine, handmade, cool climate wines from the Sta. Rita Hills that make Foley Estates one of California’s preeminent producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Ryan Aura grew up in Auburn, California and spent most of his childhood outdoors. He and his family moved to Cambria in the Central Coast of California at the start of his teenage years. At the age of 15, Ryan started working in a restaurant and immediately took an interest in food. By 18, he was recommending food and wine pairings from the restaurant’s wine list. “Pairing food with wine was a big part of my job, and after a few years, I was fortunate enough to begin tasting wines at the restaurant. From my first sip, my appreciation of wine really began.”
Ryan attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and studied Agricultural Business with a minor in wine and viticulture. In 2005, Ryan worked in the cellar at PerBacco in San Luis Obispo and Niner Wine Estates in Paso Robles and worked his way up to the Cellar Master position. All the while, his passion for making handcrafted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grew as he learned the intricacies of winemaking; it was a great introduction to the artistry and craftsmanship of winemaking for him. In 2012, his experience led him to Pacific Wine Services custom crush facility in Paso Robles where he became Assistant Winemaker. “The experience at Pacific Wine Services was the most impactful in my early winemaking experiences. I was immersed in a variety of different approaches to winemaking along with new and exciting wine varietals. I was inspired.”
In 2014, Ryan began working at Foley Estates as an Assistant Winemaker where he was immediately struck by this distinct site with its beautiful small vineyard blocks and sprawling elevations ranging throughout the property. “I believe the marine influence and soils make the Sta. Rita Hills a special place to make wine. The cool climate leads to well structured and beautifully balanced Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The soils on our property are extremely diverse with rocky limestone, clay, and sand profiles.” In 2017, Ryan was promoted to Winemaker at Foley Estates. As Winemaker, he is committed to crafting ultra-fine, handmade, cool climate wines from the Sta. Rita Hills that make Foley Estates one of California’s preeminent producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Ryan lives in Arroyo Grande with his wife, Gabrielle, and two sons, Lincoln and Eli. When he is not at the winery, Ryan can be found at the beach with his family and dogs, on the golf course, or digging around his home garden.