Meet Mayacama’s Wine Director, Jeff McCarthy

One of the most popular features at Mayacama is our wine program.  Located in the heart of Wine Country where country roads in every direction are lined with vineyards, Mayacama members enjoy access to the very best Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel vineyards on the continent.  This program is truly unique in that renowned vintners from Napa and Sonoma are not only active members, but also  an integral part of the entire Mayacama experience.  Leading this program is Wine Director, Jeff McCarthy, who willingly offers his experience and expertise with members and guests alike.

We recently asked him to share some of his knowledge, recommendations and tips with us to gain some insight into the Mayacama wine experience.

What are some of your favorite features of the Wine Program at Mayacama?

Working with incredible wineries, our education program and fantastic members who love their wine.

What has been the most rewarding part of your role in the Vintner Program?

The relationships I have made with both our club members and our local wineries.

The Vintner Program is ever-evolving. Describe the newest Vintner Members to join the program and what they offer:

Dutcher Crossing brings many fabulous varietals to work with and their hospitality program has become a club favorite.  Fisher Vineyards has given us some outstanding chardonnay and red varietals in AVAs that give our list better depth.  A visit to their Mountain winery is a great experience.  Wilson Winery brings many different properties to the program allowing us to expand in many categories.  Their hospitality staff is outstanding and the Vineyards they are planting at our front entrance will allow us to expand our education program.  All three wineries have incredible people that add to our club’s wine culture.

Give us some insight into the specialty tours offered to members:

Our tours are based on the preferences of the members.  We try to group them by location to maximize drive time and member needs.  Some offer great behind the scenes experiences, others food and wine pairings, others great picnic spots.  We try to showcase as many as possible.  I personalize a limited amount of tours for members and our concierge is great at identifying member preferences.

We’re big on travel around here. What’s your next travel destination?

Just spent the weekend in Napa, a day in Dry Creek and a half day on the Russian River.  Later this summer the Sierra Foothills, planning a late in the year Santa Barbara trip and a trip to Bordeaux next summer.

Jeff recently featured a wine pairing for those interested in dining on local oysters.

Wine Pairings:  One of the great pleasures for an oyster lover is the pairing of oysters and wine.  I love wines of higher acids to act as foil for the rich fattiness of the oysters.  I also look at what I put on the oysters when making my wine selection.

My two favorite pairings with raw oysters are a great Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine or Champagne or a great Sauvignon Blanc, local or imported.  Since I usually eat my oysters plain or with lemon or a mignonette, I find these wines a perfect paring.  With bbq oysters, I prefer a nice chardonnay with the savory and a light red with the sweet.  The fun part is you get to choose which pairing works best for you.

Visit Hog Island:  Let us set up a tasting at Hog Island for you.  Our concierge can reserve a spot for you on the shores of Tomales Bay in Marshall or you can visit Hog Island in Napa at the Oxbow market or the Ferry Building in San Francisco.  Tuesday in Marshall is shuck-your-own day.  They will give you gloves, ice and an oyster knife.  If you want to bbq, remember to bring your own charcoal.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.