Stephen Ross Wine Cellars

San Luis Obispo Small Production Urban Winery

Stephen Dooley

Owner, Founder, Winemaker since 1994

Background: I grew up in the upper Midwest and call Minnesota “home”. My mother was a geography professor and dean, and I have two siblings. I attended Mankato State University and the University of California, Davis, to earn a degree in Enology. I spent 10 years making wine in the Napa Valley, two harvests “down under” in South Africa and Australia, before coming to the Edna Valley, where I worked for others for seven years, and then launched Stephen Ross in 1994. I met Paula in 1989, married in 1995, and we have two incredible kids. 

Wine Inspiration: Turning sunlight into wine – I get to make it, and yet it makes itself – all part of the science, artistry, agriculture and magic of winemaking. Really, it is all I ever wanted to do. 

Hobbies: Drinking good wine and enjoying good food, woodworking, running, swimming and gardening.

What I Do: It would be easier to say “What I don’t do at the winery.” You name it, I do it; from winemaking to wineglass polishing…


Paula Dooley

Crew Member since 1994, Owner since 1995

Background: I grew up mostly in San Antonio, Texas. My dad was career Army, my mom was a nurse and I am the youngest of four children. I went to the THE University of Texas at Austin and earned my degree in Business Finance. I had some great jobs in aviation-related and corporate finance for 13 years and for which I am eternally grateful because they brought me to me to San Luis Obispo. I was able to use my business background to help Steve found and grow Stephen Ross. At the same time, we grew our family with two fantastic children, currently teenagers.

Wine Inspiration: I met Steve in 1989, and to fall in love with Steve was to fall in love with wine.   I am inspired by small wineries worldwide who passionately and painstakingly produce interesting wines.

Hobbies: Drinking wine (of course), swimming (anytime, anywhere), reading and yoga. I’d like to say travel, but we don’t have time to do much… someday.

What I Do: All the business-side of things.  It isn’t as exciting as being the winemaker, but it suits me well :-)


Sarah Boone

Crew Member since 2015, Tasting Room Manager and Creative Director

Background:  I was born and raised in Hertfordshire, England and lived there until I was 9. I travelled all over Europe (a lot of which I barely remember), including multiple vacations to the wonderful wine regions of France. When I was 9, my family moved to Boston, Massachusetts (no I don’t have a Boston accent) and I went to middle school and high school there. Once I graduated, my parents moved to San Luis Obispo (mostly so my Dad could live out his dream of working in the wine industry). I stayed in Boston and studied at Berklee College of Music, until the lure of wine and California sun brought me out here!

Wine Inspiration: My parents are both big wine drinkers and I grew up around wine. As I got older, I learned to appreciate wine more and I developed a serious passion!

Hobbies: I'm a music junkie (my friends call me a jukebox), I love to travel, hike and camp. I'm definitely a foodie and (obviously) love drinking wine.


Peter Delfino

Crew Member since 2014, Cellarman

Background: I was born in San Luis Obispo but grew up in Camino, CA. When I was 18, I worked for a local apple farm doing punch down and pump overs. I love working harvest for them and that’s what made me want to go to Cal Poly for Wine and Viticulture. My Grandparents, parents and siblings all went through Cal Poly so it seemed like the right place! I started in 2009 and starting working with Steve in 2013 when I graduated.

Hobbies: Golfing, softball, beer advocate and skiing.


Maureen "Mo" Forsberg

Crew Member since 2012, Tasting Room Attendant

Background: I have been involved in the community of San Luis Obispo for over 30 years. In my many jobs that I've had, my favorites have been working for the Chamber of Commerce and for Stephen Ross. I recently resigned from the Chamber of Commerce; but continue to work at Stephen Ross because I love the wines, and we have an awesome team here. 

Wine Inspiration: Chardonnay is my "go to" glass of wine, but I would never turn down a glass of Steve Dooley's wonderful Pinot Noir. 

Hobbies: Powerwalks, reading, binge watching on Netflix, and reading about, talking about and drinking wine.