Rodger Grove, owner of Forgotten Barrel Winery in Escondido, is a native Southern Californian. His family is his most important priority, and he has been happily married to his wife, Mitzi for twenty years. He has three grown children, daughter Carley, and sons Taylor, and Christopher. Rodger and Mitzi have seven grandchildren!
Rodger’s personal hobbies are raising Japanese Koi, and collecting wine. He is active in his church and supports many local charities. He graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a B.A. degree in Finance and major emphasis in Real Estate. He has continued his education over the years with numerous advanced commercial real estate courses.
In 2016, Rodger purchased the historic Ferrara Winery in Escondido, and has been working diligently to restore the winery, taking care to preserve its historical presence. This has given him the opportunity to significantly expand winery operations. He now has the facilities to produce local wine, purchasing grapes from some very fine vineyards in the San Diego area, while continuing to produce Northern California sourced wine in the Napa winery. With the restoration of most of the winery complete, it can now accommodate special events, including small weddings.
Escondido residents are delighted with the reopening of this historic property. Many stories are shared about their good memories of the Ferrara Family Winery and they are excited to be able to enjoy this property once again.
John Eppler spent 30 years in Northern California where he had his own brand, John Robert Eppler Wines! He also spent time working at Robert Mondavi and Rosenblum Cellars, with two of the more innovative wine makers in California history.
He made his way to Southern California "to retire", but his love for winemaking pulled him back, and Forgotten Barrel is the lucky winner! John brings his sense of independence, making original choices when selecting vineyards and choosing winemaking methods. John's style is making full and richly flavored wines. They are big and bold, which accentuates the terroir of San Diego county. We are excited to have John at the helm as we enjoy our 2nd harvest from San Diego County fruit.
In 2017 we made 2 barrels of Muscat of Alexandria, the grapes from our home vineyard. We bottled the first vintage of Estate Moscato in 2018!
Deidre Espinoza is a California native, and has lived in San Diego county for over 20 years. Deidre has a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Arizona, and worked as a Controller for over 17 years at a subsidiary of Revlon. She brings her extensive experience in Accounting and Finance to Forgotten Barrel.
Her hobbies include hiking and swimming, and she loves to hang out at the beach. Deidre also loves to host dinner parties and barbeques with friends and family, which along with her animals, are most important to her!
Director of Operations
Amy has been in the wine industry for over twenty years, and loves all the amazing connections she has been able to make with people through (and often over) a glass of wine. She has lived all over and believes that things like wine can help connect us. She loves people and entertaining, both at work and at home. She makes people feel comfortable and welcome wherever she goes.
In her "other life" she teaches yoga and meditation, and runs a small mala (i.e. Buddhist/Hindu prayer bead) business! When not working, she also enjoys gardening, loving on animals, vegan cooking, and any craft she can get her hands on. Her most recent project is making her house a home, as she and her husband have just bought their first house in California! They live with their dog and kitty (Rocky and Boomer), and are excited to adopt many more once they get all situated at the new property.
Manny is an original member of the Forgotten Barrel team, and a native of Yanga, Veracruz, Mexico.
As a skilled craftsman with expertise in custom and rustic woodworking, Manny has more than 10 years of carpentry experience, beginning in Puebla, Mexico, where he was taught by his father. He has also worked for several carpentry companies in the USA.
Manny is also no stranger to drywall, and ran his own landscaping business for many years.
With a strong work-ethic, he finds great satisfaction in his projects, and is not afraid to think out-of-the-box. Manny is the proud father to two handsome sons, and spends most of his spare time with them. Manny looks forward to the continued growth of Forgotten Barrel, and remains dedicated to this adventure.
Tasting Room Coordinator
Kaylan is a graduate of San Diego State University. He has spent the majority of his career in the beverage industry, and has found his passion to be wine.
To further his knowledge and education, Kaylan is working on his Sommelier certification. Kaylan is thrilled to be part of the team, and welcomes you to visit the tasting room at Forgotten Barrel.
Forgotten Barrel offers a wide selection of premium hand crafted wines using fruit sourced from Napa, Sonoma, Central Coast and San Diego County.
The reincarnation of the former Ferrara Winery has transformed this once-forgotten homestead into a tranquil rustic hideaway in the city. Our winemaker, John Eppler, hails from Northern California, having worked in Napa for Robert Mondavi, Rosenblum Cellars, and his own brand, John Robert Eppler Wines. Visitors are sure to enjoy a friendly and relaxed wine tasting that will long be savored.
Keep up to date on the latest wine releases, events, and promotions!