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Meet Trailblazer Alysha Stehly

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alysha Stehly.

Alysha, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My husband Chris and I started Vesper Vineyards 10 years ago with the goal of making the best wines possible out of the best grapes grown in San Diego County. Over the years, we have grown slowly and helped others start up their wineries and vineyards. For Vesper, Chris is our winemaker and I handle the marketing, business and assisting with winemaking and doing all the lab analysis. Nine years ago, my parents started Stehleon as a small project making one wine, now, I am the winemaker for Stehleon making wines from grapes my Dad grows. I also manage our joint tasting room Sans V in Escondido.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Wine in San Diego is an uphill battle being a “beer town.” San Diego has the potential to be known as a great wine region, we can (and do) make some great wines, but most people in San Diego don’t even realize we have many wineries here. Through the years, it has been a struggle to be taken seriously, not only because I look young and I am a woman but because San Diego wine is such a “new” thing. It is hard at times to stick to our goals and sometimes to push through the challenging times, but it is worth it. San Diego has a good community of winemakers and growing. Now, to get the customers to make San Diego wine a regular thing for them.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Vesper Vineyards, Stehleon Vineyards, Sans V Tasting Room – what should we know?
100% San Diego grown and made! All our wines, for both Vesper and Stehleon. Very proud of the doors Vesper has opened up in getting San Diego wine noticed, Wall Street Journal and Chris and I were named “Winemakers to Watch” by the SF Chronicle.

Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
Hard working parents, sticking to your plans and beliefs even when challenging.

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Image Credit:
Alysha Stehly

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