SF Tasting Room & Events
There is a common thread woven through the fabric of Dawn’s extensive hospitality background. It is her love for all people and a sincere warmth towards others. This paired with a drive to go above and beyond in making the guest experience memorable and unique has created a career in leadership and service beyond compare.
Her career began humbly, at a local ice cream shop in a rural community of New Mexico. At the University of Oklahoma she began waiting on people and her easy way and a love of service placed her on a quick and natural path to the finest hotels and restaurants in the country.
As a manager at the Ritz Carlton, Dawn was at the forefront of leadership and hospitality training as they won the Malcolm Baldridge Award. After her tenure at the Ritz she helped open renowned establishment, Restaurant Gary Danko. Here she was instrumental in laying the foundation for a world class restaurant in one of the greatest food cities in the world.
Dawn believes the vein of service is not exclusive to one industry and her vision to see what companies need to succeed and how that translates to their guests has given her the opportunity to share her knowledge with a diverse catalog of businesses. She has spoken at Google twice for upwards of 250 people each time, has mentored and trained staff at medical institutions, boutique grocery stores, high end wineries, restaurants, hotels and a variety of tech and food startups.
Everything Dawn does combined with a vast portfolio of experiences will only add value to anything she is a part of.
Biodynamic Farming Consultant
Daphne Amory is a California-based consultant, accredited inspector, public speaker, and educator with expertise in biodynamic farming, agriculture, and viticulture.
Growing up on the western slope of Colorado, Daphne realized there was a constant awareness of the natural rhythms of life: working the cattle on her family’s ranch, the cycles of birthing, dying, sowing, harvesting. Climate and environmental factors all played an intrinsic role in the everyday choices of the ranch. Daphne thinks that agriculture is the perfect stage for the ongoing, dramatic interaction of nature and humanity to unfold. Understanding the story of the past, the story of the present, and the story of the future as it is waiting to unfold is what brings Daphne to the fields, day after day, to witness the beautiful, ever-changing Theatre of the Natural World. In her work with biodynamics and regenerative farming, she continues to expand her understanding of this interaction and share the unique stories of place, of farm, of ecology and of human engagement with both clients and students alike.
Vineyard Team Member
Ashley’s passion for wine was driven by a passion for food. She began cooking at a young age, deviating from the recipe to “make it better” at every opportunity, reveling in spice exploration and seasoning to expand the palate experience. Ashley was initially drawn to an education in English, however, her continued enthusiasm for cooking ultimately led her to pursue a culinary education. This culinary journey, paired with a transformative vineyard tour and tasting experience led by a winemaker, catapulted her food and cooking passion into winemaking.
To stoke the fire within and begin charting her place in the wine world, Ashley moved to Washington State where she received an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) in Winery Technology from Yakima Valley College, followed by a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Horticulture from Oregon State University. Her blazing quest for knowledge is further evident in added education achievements including advanced Fermentation classes, Biodynamic Summit attendance, and the completion of her Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level II.
After nearly a decade of winemaking, Ashley began focusing on opportunities to align with a winery supporting her personal ethos in regenerative farming; the need to nurture the vine with a whole farm philosophy, and creating a natural community by working together to support the health of the soil and fruit. We are grateful this driven and daring winemaker has joined Eco Terreno. Her heart and passion are evident, and we look forward to her support and excitement to mentor our team and continue the vision of Mark Lyon’s amazing wines.
Biodynamic Vineyard Viticulture Intern
ROB IZZO, Ph.D.
Rob’s career has spanned education, organizational development, and winemaking. When asked about his profession he simply states that he is a lifelong learner. We would add that he is also a lifelong teacher. His mantra throughout his endeavors is “perusing passion” and he is driven by doing what is right, at all times and at all costs. His integrity and interests in leadership, impactful change, assessment and evaluation, wine technology, marketing, and innovation spill over into every facet of our growing company.
With an undergraduate in management information systems and a masters in business education from University of Georgia, as well as a Ph.D. in education leadership from the University of Virginia, Rob’s early career, naturally, was in the classroom. He taught both high school and university courses and as his career progressed he began bridging his teaching with his interests and discovered a career path that would surprise even him.
Beginning in the mid-2000’s Rob travelled extensively and, as luck would have it, many of the locations he visited were respected wine regions. In 2012, with an increasing interest in winemaking, Rob and his husband, Andrew, decided to move to Sonoma. He taught at Sonoma State University with a focus on wine business but also began leaning into the wine industry with more fervor. In true Rob fashion, he worked triple time in many positions with several wineries to learn all that he could about the industry. The missing component in other experiences was a lack of desire to do what is right at all times and at all costs. After many years, and several different wineries he discovered Eco Terreno, a winery committed to purpose over profit.
As our General Manager Rob works tirelessly developing a wine farm that is nurtured and farmed utilizing biodynamic philosophies and practices, building a company that values people and the earth they live on, and ensuring that we are a company that is authentic and sincere in all that we do.
Founder / Winemaker
Mark Lyon, an experienced winegrower in Alexander Valley, has over three decades of experience in making wines from his vineyards. Mark received a B.S. of Fermentation Science from the University of California at Davis in 1978. The very next year he was hired by Sebastiani Vineyards to assist with production. In 1985 he was placed in charge of harvest at the winery and subsequently, the winemaking team. During this time Mark focused on producing the finest wines for Sebastiani using vineyards throughout Sonoma County, including his own.
Mark’s successes were notable during his time at Sebastiani Vineyards. The inaugural 1999 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, from Eco Terreno Vineyards, was the first Sebastiani Vineyards wine to be in “Top 100 Wines of the Year” and on the cover of Wine Spectator Magazine. Mark was named “Winemaker of the Year” by Restaurant Wine Magazine in 2004. In 2005, Mark was awarded the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from U.C. Davis. The biannual award has been given to prominent industry leaders such as Robert Mondavi and Justin Meyers. Bill Foley retained Mark as Winemaker when he bought Sebastiani Vineyards in 2009. As a result of their working relationship, wine quality and ratings have improved; Mark crowned his tenure in 2015 at Sebastiani Vineyards with scores of 95 to 98+ from Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate for his 2013 Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon-based Cherryblock, Gravel Bed Alexander Valley, Gravel Bed Sonoma County, and Old Vine releases, three of which were made with some fruit, or entirely from Lyon’s Eco Terreno Vineyards. He retired from the head winemaking position at Sebastiani in 2016 to focus on Eco Terreno’s vineyards and wines.
Lead Vineyard Team Member
Vineyard Team Member
Assistant Vineyard Manager
With a background in farming that spans generations, Jose has distinguished himself as a natural leader with an abundance of knowledge. His team is empowered by his leadership and their confidence in the field is evident in the health of our vines. His knowledge of Demeter Biodynamic protocols is invaluable in the growth of our farm and our team. His in-depth research into more sustainable, less impactful farming practices makes our carbon negative goals achievable.
In addition to that impressive list of accomplishments, Jose’s position requires a “hands on” approach and frequent presence in the vineyard. Yet, regardless of the demands of his many roles and responsibilities, he always finds time to connect with our animals and the Elder Garden. Jose recognizes the intricacies of the farm as a whole organism and attributes our vines success to the success of every detail both in and out of the vineyards.
Jose, and his team, train our vines to be receptive to the optimal growing environment and it seems as though they have effectively applied this philosophy to those fortunate enough to work with them, by understanding that with the optimal environment, we can all be more receptive to growth.
We are thrilled with the accomplishments Jose has achieved since he began working with us and look forward to many successful years together.
As a lifelong Sonoma resident, Jennifer Sunia has always felt the lure of wine and reluctantly placed it on pause to raise three lovely children. The pause, however, was short lived and wine became a family affair when her parents bought a 7-acre plot of land in 2000. Jennifer beams as she shares her grape growing experience at the Lobsinger Stone Barn Vineyard and the many happy memories built working the farm, tending the crop and blending wines alongside her parents, siblings, husband, and kids.
In 2015, Jennifer chose to move into the industry full-time and helped launch Eco Terreno Wines, a new wine brand owned by Mark Lyon. She was one of two employees in the early years and the need to wear many hats was an easy transition for a multi-tasking mother of three with a small family business and countless other responsibilities.
In some ways, and especially in one way, Jennifer was meant to meet and work for Mark Lyon from the time she was born. In the year of her birth, Jennifer’s parents, in anticipation of her arrival, moved into a bungalow home on E Napa Street in Sonoma. Jennifer blessed the home with her boundless energy until the family began to grow and they needed more space. Coincidentally, Jennifer has now spent as much time in that home as an adult as she did as an infant because Mark Lyon purchased it shortly before hiring her. This happy coincidence is a fun reminder of where life takes us. And we are all grateful for where it has led Jennifer.
As our Operations Manager, or as Rob likes to call her, the "Everything Manager", Jennifer is always available with a smile and a big heart, helping everyone with anything they need. And, truth be told, those needs are vast and many, requiring her to be the keeper of many hats. Thank you Jennifer for being our “everything”.
As a student at the University of San Francisco, Nicole’s driving passion was a desire to support our increasingly delicate ecosystem. This passion paired with a commitment to the restoration and enhancement of environmental biodiversity guided her into the small, but growing, niche of biodynamic farming.
Shortly after she received her BS in Environmental Science and an MS in Environmental Management, she moved to Maine and worked on an organic farm, focusing on produce care and cultivation and animal husbandry. Working with the land proved rewarding, and Nicole chose to stay involved, at some capacity, with outdoor farming as her career progressed. After a successful season in Maine she headed back home to Southern California and landed in Malibu managing a highly respected biodynamic edible farm. In addition to the lengthy list of roles and responsibilities she became an educator and proponent of the biodynamic farming philosophy and practices.
In 2017, Nicole once again felt the pull of Northern California. She missed the small sustainable and organic communities. And, more importantly, wanted to be a part of the innovative and eccentric visionaries embracing changes in farming practices in an effort to combat the harmful effects of climate change. As luck would have it she landed in the vineyards and began honing her biodynamic skills in wine farming.
Having worked solely with biodynamic farms she embraces a passion for the environment and a philosophy of holistic healing. We are grateful for Nicole’s “Earth Mama” nurturing instinct and the unique background she brings to Eco Terreno Wines and Vineyards.