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Forgotten Barrel LLC

Meet Our Winemaker


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.  Last year we made 2 barrels of Muscat of Alexandria, the grape from our home vineyard.  We plan to bottle our first vintage of Muscato in 2018!


Forgotten Barrel now occupies the former Ferrara Winery, which was designated a California historic point of interest in the late 1970’s and a historic site by the city of Escondido in 1989.  The winery, was established in 1886 as one of San Diego county and Southern California’s first vineyards.  The winery was purchased in 1928 by George Ferrara, banking on the repeal of prohibition by President Roosevelt. 

The winery reopened in 1932-33 with the passage of the 21st amendment.   During the next 75 years, Ferrara Winery grew to prominence in the California wine industry.  It was operated by 3 generations until 2010.  Forgotten Barrel restored the historic property and opened the tasting room in 2017 and will continue to tell the story of the Ferrara family and the history of this amazing California landmark.


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