Mark Herold

Hestan Vineyards and Meyer Vineyard Wines

A southern California native, Mark Herold grew up wanting to be a scientist. After receiving his pre-med degree from UC Irvine in 1989, he enrolled at UC Davis to pursue a doctorate in Ecology with an emphasis in Nutritional Biochemistry. It was at Davis that Mark began his love affair with wine; enrolling in graduate level winemaking classes and experimenting with home wines.

After graduation, Mark moved to Napa Valley to pursue winemaking in earnest. His first job was as research enologist for six years at Joseph Phelps Vineyards. Armed with the expertise gained at Phelps and motivated by the freedom to pursue his own style of winemaking, Mark launched Merus wines in 1998. Merus was named “one of California's most exciting new wineries” by the Wine Spectator, and Mark soon found himself in demand as a consulting winemaker specializing in limited production Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

In 2002, after being introduced to a bottle of Merus while dining at the French Laundry, Stanley and Helen Cheng hired Mark as consulting winemaker for their newly created Hestan label.