Emery grew up on a working family ranch near the Black Hills in South Dakota. When he was 19, he moved to California and began working in wineries, starting at Deerfield Ranch Winery in its infancy and helping establish its presence in Sonoma. His time there reinforced his decision to pursue a degree in viticulture and enology from UC-Davis. Now, Emery is applying his hands-on winemaking experience, his academic expertise and his passion for the outdoors and agriculture into the pursuit of making excellent wine. It’s a life-long dream come true!
Emery’s father, Bob Risdall, fulfilled a longtime dream when the two of them established Risdall Ranch Winery. Bob is a native of Minnesota and a graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School. His distinguished career as a pathologist took him to San Antonio, Texas; western South Dakota, where he owned a cattle ranch; and northern California, where he had the opportunity to deepen his knowledge of and interest in wine and winemaking.
Visitors to the winery's tasting room are warmly greeted by Ray. His hometown of Prescott, Arizona is a long way from the lush green vineyards of the Willamette Valley. But for the last decade, Ray has made Oregon his home. Ray has spent years enjoying, traveling, and learning about wines from all over the world and the Pacific Northwest. He is currently pursuing an Advanced WSET Award in Wines and with plans to become a Certified Sommelier.
As cellar master, Mac is responsible for hand crafting fantastic wines from the time the vines start producing fruit all the way to a finished bottle. He oversees day-to-day wine operations, barrel maintenance and general repairs, manages and trains cellar hands, and works beside Emery to produce wines that embody his style of winemaking.