Born and raised in the Dry Creek Valley, Clay is part of the sixth generation of a grape-growing family. Pioneers from Sweden, they raised Merino sheep for the wool and planted their first vines on land they settled in 1868, an area that now anchors the Rockpile AVA.
After graduating from the University of Oregon in 1997, Clay returned to Sonoma County, where he worked at Kenwood Vineyards, and later honed his skills alongside winemakers at Jordan Vineyards and Winery, Taft Street Winery and Dry Creek Vineyard. In 1998, the Mauritson Family Winery was founded with the first vintage of Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel.
Clay is committed to making wines that exemplify a sense of place, and his philosophy of winemaking is simple: “You need exceptional fruit to make exceptional wine.” His family heritage provides a distinct advantage — with more than 350 acres of family owned vineyards and strong relationships built over decades with other growers, Clay has access to some of the best grapes in Sonoma County.