Meet the Winemakers



Our Story


Ursa Vineyards is the vision of husband and wife operation-team, Greg Stokes and Deborah Elissagaray. ​Both started their winemaking careers in the Santa Cruz Mountains where they gained extensive knowledge working for various area wineries. The couple met while a part of the winemaking team at David Bruce Winery, where Greg headed up Grower Relations. Greg is also a highly regarded viticulturist and a consultant for numerous vineyards in California and other states. Deborah grew up spending her summers visiting family in the Pyrénées Mountain town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France where she gained an appreciation for her Basque heritage. The region inspired work on a Basque blend that makes predominant use of the Tannat grape, known for its powerful tannin and dark pigmentation. The couple fell in love with the varietal and have been making wines with it every year since. In 2001, Greg and Deborah moved to the Sierra Foothills to pursue hotter climate varietals. Together they bring great business experience, coupled with a passion for wine, to create an award-winning winery dedicated to producing high-quality wines.

 "’ll be rewarded by some startlingly unique experiences wrought by a pair of immensely talented winemakers".

Lodi Wine - Randy Caporoso