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Marilee Shaffer - Owner/ Winemaker

Marilee Shaffer’s past careers include academic research to discover effective bacterial vaccines, development of molecular cloning methods with a focus on DNA sequencing, and biotech equipment sales engineering and marketing (ask about her exhibit at the Smithsonian).

After many years on the “bleeding edge” with biotech start-ups and a fresh MBA from UC Berkeley in hand, she decided that it was time to launch a business of her own in a kinder, gentler market sector, and founded Waypoint, a “click-and-mortar” retailer of products for marine navigation.

An offhand remark about not using her old microbiology degree led to home winemaking and, eventually a UC Davis Winemaking Certificate as part of launching Urban Legend.

In short, Marilee is right handed and left brained, and handles the winery’s accounting when she's not fulfilling her destiny as Empress of Fermentation, the iron-handed Despot of Barrel Topping, and resident chemistry tutor for cellar apprentices. Her creative side is expressed from the very beginning of Urban Legend’s winemaking process.

Steve Shaffer - Owner/ Winemaker

Left handed and right brained, Steve Shaffer is an engineer's engineer and the artistic soul of Urban Legend. He is an oracle of wine-related information, and that knowledge serves him well as the “designer” behind Urban Legend’s flavors.

His passion for lesser-known varietals and flair for barreling and blending make the wines distinctive and keep them food friendly.

Steve also designed and built the winery’s multi-tiered tasting bar. (Leave it to an uber-engineer to make something magical out of a problematic sloping floor.)

Among Steve’s darkest secrets is one that he holds fundamental patents in computer system and fiber optic networking. But don’t let that get in the way of enjoying Urban Legend’s wines.


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