Paso Robles AVA Winery acquires top-notch talent to manage front-of-house operations



June 13, 2012 – (Templeton, CA) Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, known for sustainably-grown estate wines in the Paso Robles AVA, has announced the appointment of Mark Stern to Director of Sales & Hospitality. Mark’s extensive background includes project and event management for the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission, as well as certifications with the Society of Wine Educators and the Court of Master Sommeliers.


“Mark’s expertise is a treasure,” said Pomar Junction owner, Dana Merrill. “We foresee that his understanding of wine and the marketplace will be of enormous value in maintaining and advancing Pomar Junction’s growth.”


Indeed, Stern’s multi-faceted work history qualifies him to bring the Pomar Junction message of sustainably-produced, estate-grown wines to consumers nationwide.  At the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission, Stern produced public events for the active organization, as well as press tours, radio campaigns and cross-promotion of regional lodging and restaurant associations. Prior to his position in Mendocino, Stern managed the tasting room at Ledson Market Place, was Cellar Master at A.J.’S Fine Foods and Territory Sales Representative at Paso Fino Wine Distributors, both in Phoenix, AZ.


In addition to numerous sales and hospitality positions, Stern has owned and operated numerous wine-related ventures, including both a wine bar and 5,000-case capacity winery in Phoenix. “It is rare to meet someone who knows the nuts and bolts of winemaking, understands the complex workings of the three-tier system, and has a well-schooled palate,” said Merrill, referring to Stern’s business background and education in marketing (MBA, University of Southern California) as well as his certification with the Society of Wine Educators and Court of Master Sommeliers.


In his new position as Director of Sales & Hospitality at Pomar Junction, Stern will be responsible for all front-of-house operations, sales, marketing, and event coordination, reporting to General Managing Partner, Matt Merrill.


Owned and operated by the Merrill Family in the Paso Robles AVA, Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery showcases eight generations of Central Coast farming through deeply characterful estate wines.  With a rich heritage of sustainable practices in the vineyard and minimal intervention in the cellar, Pomar Junction guides estate grapes from vine to glass with a narrow focus on purity of flavor and varietal integrity. The winery name refers to the Merrill Family’s concurrent lineage of railroad engineers as well as to bygone days when the Southern Pacific Railroad was responsible for the development of the picturesque Central Coast.  For more information about Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, call (805) 238-9944, or visit The Pomar Junction vineyard and tasting room are located at 5036 S. El Pomar Road in Templeton, CA 93465.



Chanae Rodriguez

Parker Sanpei & Associates