Marine Layer Wines is a longtime dream of visionary Baron Ziegler. Through years of working with friend and winemaker Rob Fischer at Banshee Wines, Baron knew that Rob would be the perfect guy to help make his dream a reality. Together, their vision of creating a Sonoma Coast-focused brand, exclusively sourced from only the best vineyards in the region, came to life.
We are driven by discovery, precision and creativity. With an artisanal approach to winemaking, we craft wines that are both elegant and approachable. Sustainable farming, heritage clones, hand-harvesting, and an obsession for quality guide our path.
The distinctive name, “Marine Layer,” pays homage to the thick blanket of fog that pours in from the Pacific along the Sonoma Coast. Known for cooler temperatures and extreme conditions, growing grapes in this region is undoubtedly challenging, yet the most rewarding. Longer hang-time for the grapes results in nuanced flavors, bright acidity, and balance.
We are a free-spirited, tight-knit team who share a devotion to quality wine, genuine hospitality, and living life to the fullest.
Tequila, Champagne, great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir…that’s roughly the diet that Baron has been living on for the last 20+ years. It’s a tough life, but someone has to do it. Baron started collecting wine when he was 15 before he even liked the taste of wine. Needless to say, he got a lot of weird looks in his freshman dorm room when people saw wood boxes of Bordeaux under his bed. According to many at the time, he was considered a bit eccentric or “special.” When Baron turned 18, he got a job in a wine shop in Boston where he could taste, learn and make a little money. So started Baron’s obsession and a profession in wine.
“I’m not a winemaker. I never had the patience or time to learn, but I’m lucky to have Rob, one of the best winemakers I’ve ever worked with, as my partner in crime. This is a family affair. My three girls helped us stomp the Pinot grapes at harvest (start ‘em young, I say), and my daughter, Olivia, has been blind tasting with me since we crushed our first grapes for Marine Layer. She approves of the wines we’ve put into bottle so far, as do I. Marine Layer is our heart and soul, and the most fun we’ve had making wine to date.”
A Napa kid born and raised, Rob’s career in the wine industry began more than 20 years ago at the Domaine Carneros tasting room. He gained an appreciation for wine, not just the enjoyment of consumption, but the science and chemistry of the winemaking process that starts with the soil and farming of the land.
Over the years, Rob has been a part of making more than 30 varieties from exceptional vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, the Sierra Foothills up to Oregon, and both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Through working in these varied regions, Rob found a passion for making great cool-climate Pinot and Chardonnay. It was clear to Rob that the best expressions were being grown in the far reaches of coastal growing areas — sites that come with inherent risk. Not shy of hard work or a challenge at hand, when Rob was presented the opportunity to make Marine Layer wines, he immediately felt infectious energy and enthusiasm.
Rob and Baron share several things in common – they both are fathers of beautiful daughters (five of them in total), a love of great Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Grower Champagne as well as a love to enjoy life without taking themselves too seriously.
Outdoor enthusiast, party planner, mover and shaker, Milly thrives when creating, designing and jumping into new projects. After working with Baron for years at Banshee Wines, it is Milly’s expertise that Baron sought out when he launched Marine Layer — knowing that she would bring the brand to life with her instinct for design, creative intuition and management experience.
NorCal native, Milly has honed her DTC expertise over the past 10 years working with local producers from Sonoma, including Red Car Wines, Banshee Wines and Scribe Winery.
When she isn’t planning her next outdoor adventure or burning man trip, Milly loves to entertain friends and throws an epic fondue and vinyl night. If you’re lucky, you might meet her uber chill dog, Charlie; may we all be more like him.
Marissa is a SoCal Native who moved to the Bay Area in 2008 in search of greener pastures (both literally and figuratively). A culinary connoisseur since childhood, Marissa yearned for a career within the food and wine scene. Through her work with Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, where she worked with restaurant chefs and wineries throughout the region, Marissa found her true calling in wine. After years in sales and marketing, she received her certificate in Wine Business Management from Sonoma State University in 2019, and helped launch the first-ever tasting room and hospitality program for Flowers Winery.
Marissa imparts her infectious energy and high attention to detail into personalizing and elevating the Marine Layer guest experience.
On days off you can find Marissa teaching Zumba, hiking along the coast, or listening to heavy metal while whipping up something delicious in the kitchen. Her perfect pairing: Hog Island Kumamotos, Les Clos Grand Cru, and Judas Priest.
Meredith spent the first nine years of her life in the Midwest, first in Indianapolis, followed by Chicago. Her destiny was sealed when her parents eventually settled in Kenwood, CA, smack dab in the middle of Sonoma Valley’s famed vineyards and wineries.
While studying wine and viticulture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Meredith got a job working at the Tablas Creek tasting room the moment she turned 21. She has lived and worked in renowned wine regions around the globe, including Thelema in Stellenbosch, South Africa, and Angelus in Bordeaux, France.
A former soccer player, Meredith likens winemaking to game day: harvest is like game day every day for months. “I get the butterflies because as much as you can prepare, there is usually a new challenge to come up against.”
Zack is Marine Layer’s jack-of-all-trades (err, Zack-of-all-trades). A graduate of Sonoma State University, Zack’s introduction to wine began at the Banshee Wines tasting room back in 2013. While looking for a summer job after graduating college, fate intervened, and he met Marine Layer founder Baron Ziegler. Zack jumped at the chance to join Baron’s team. It was then that Zack truly fell in love with wine — namely the dynamism, energy and cast of characters who make up the industry. With well-rounded expertise across multiple channels, Zack is Marine Layer’s sales extraordinaire.
Zack is a Marin County native and currently calls Petaluma home. Some of his favorite things include fresh wines, old souls, and cats. Always the class clown, best dressed, and most likely to get iced.
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