The Parsons Family, Bill and Mary with daughters Rachael, Ali and Brooke, planted the seven-acre Parsonage Village Vineyard in June 1998. The south-facing hillside vineyard is 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean and a half mile east of the Village on Carmel Valley Road. The vineyard is planted to 3.5 acres of Syrah, 2.0 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 1.0 acre of Merlot and 0.5 acre of Petit Verdot. The Parsons were the first to plant Syrah in Carmel Valley.
Today, Parsonage is still very much a family-run vineyard and winery. Ali’s husband, Frank Melicia, has been the winemaker and vineyard manager for many years. Ali and Rachael also work full-time while Brooke and her husband, Marshall, help out whenever they can. Bill and Mary live in the center of the vineyard and pretend that they are semi-retired while the business roars around them every day.
Mary Ellen Parsons, who owns Parsonage Winery with her husband Bill, is a self-taught textile artist. Every Parsonage label features one of her quilts. Reproductions of her work, known as giclées, fill the walls of the Parsonage tasting room. Three original quilts are also on display in the tasting room.
Mary began her relationship with quilts in the late 1970’s when she became a partner in the Wild Goose Chase Quilt Shop in Pacific Grove, California. She had read a book about quilting and learned more—quickly—as she taught those who had not yet read the book. Her award-winning quilts have been displayed in many solo and group exhibits. Her work appears in several C&T Publishing books, including Wine Country Quilts.