Alumni Wineries

Gator Great Wineries

Learn more about these alumni-owned and operated wineries, and check out some of their original recipes, pairing recommendations, and even order a bottle or two for your next homecooked masterpiece! 


Charter Oak Winery & Vineyards

Robert Fanucci ('78, Political Science) and his wife Layla ('81, Sociolgy) own and operate Charter Oak Winery & Vineyards. The Fanuccis have produced award-winning Napa Valley red wines that are truly unique and luxurious. They attribute this success to using century old winemaking equipment and processes. While not the most efficient way of making wine, it is in the truest sense, handcrafted. They guarantee that you can taste the differerence in every bottle of our wine in comparison to mass-produced wines. 

⇒ Get Charter Oak's Recipe for Minestrone Soup

⇒ Pairing Recommendation for Chef Gerard Rangel's Quinoa Salad & Pan Seared Halibut

⇒ Pairing Recommendation for Chef Tim Shaw's Chocolate Truffles

⇒ Pairing Recommendation for Chef Sybil Yang's Fried Chicken






Hawk and Horse Vineyard

Tracey Hawkins received her BA in 1995 from SF State in Creative Writing. Four years later, she helped found Hawk and Horse Vineyard in Lake County, California, just slightly north of Napa Valley. This is a family operated vineyard and ranch that is recognized as one of the leading biodynamic viticulturalists in California. Tracey explains, "Our family feels that a bio-dynamic approach brings you wine which is a true expression of our sense of  place." 

 ⇒ Get Hawk and Horse's Recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

 ⇒ Pairing Recommendations for Chef Gerard Rangel's Quinoa Salad & Pan Seared Halibut

 ⇒ Pairing Recommendation for Chef Tim Shaw's Chocolate Truffles






In 2008, Dalia Ceja graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Marketing & Communications. In 2010 she became the Sales & Marketing Director at Ceja Vineyards. When describing Ceja Vineyards, she states, "For us, it's been about family and taking wine to a new level." And for Dalia, being at Ceja includes promoting awareness of authentic Mexican cuisine and its subtle, complex falvors - the perfect companion for pairings that yield a new wine experience. 
Margaret Meraz ('02) received her BA from SF State in Dietetics. She would then go to Flora Springs Wineries & Vineyard where she led one of the most memorable Gator Wine tours of all time. Margaret is now at Ghost Block Estate Wines, which is comprised of three seperate wine brands, Oakville Winery, Ghost Block and Elizabeth Rose. What they posses in common in an unwavering commitment to making high quality Napa Valley wines that are accessible to everyone.