Finding the right wine can be confusing or even intimidating – especially with so many choices available. After many years as enthusiasts, we saw a real need in the market for more than just another wine retailer. In 2002 Meritage Wine Market opened its first store in San Diego and now we offer serivces in Santa Barbara. We wanted to create a place where we could share our love and knowledge of wine, while turning people onto the right bottle for their taste, budget or occasion.
At Meritage Wine Market, we offer the best personal wine experience with the core belief that making great wine is a complex process, but choosing one shouldn’t be. We manage our customer’s needs with wine selections specifically chosen for their individual purpose and fulfilling the highest quality wine within budget.
Our intimacy in customer service ensures the right wine for each customer every time.
Dustin Cano - Co-Owner and President
Dustin, a proud San Diegan, moved from Texas at the age of two. He arrived at Meritage in 2012 as the GM and co-purchased the store in 2018. Previously, he worked in Food & Beverage for several hotels globally. Dustin acquired a Diploma in Hospitality from Spain’s Les Roches Int’l School of Hotel Management. He also achieved a BS in Hospitality & Tourism and an MBA from Endicott College in Massachusetts. Dustin loves travel, sports and of course wine! He is our resident Vermouth and Bourbon aficionado. Dustin resides in Rancho Bernardo with his wife Katie, daughters Ainslee and Kacie, and dog named Ry!
Dave Wiegel - Co-Owner and Chief Operating Officer
Originally from Chicago, Dave is a veteran of some 26 years in the wine industry. After almost nine years working for one of the country's largest wine retailers, Dave moved to San Diego and spent five years at Meritage as wine buyer before jumping over to the wholesale distribution side of the industry. He was thrilled to fulfill a longtime dream by returning to Meritage in 2016 to join forces with his business partner Dustin to purchase Meritage Wine Market and start the next chapter. He lives in Carlsbad with his wonderful fiancée Robin and two kitties named Gus and Toby.
Noah Chow - Store Manager
After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, Noah took a pivot and threw himself into the restaurant industry as a server while taking culinary classes at Santa Barbara City College. Gradually, his interest in culinary arts led him to work at Meritage Wine Market, where he continues to dive deeper into the expansive world of wine. He understands that wine can be an intimidating subject and hopes to dispel any pretense! Noah lives on the East side and can often be found at the beach playing volleyball. Ask him about what wines he has been pairing with his cooking!
Hugo Tapia - Sales Associate
Born and raised in Oxnard, CA, Hugo Tapia's love for wine came while he was a graduate assistant at the University of Southern California, when his beloved mentor poured him a glass of wine and instantly he was mesmerized. Hugo is a high school counselor at Adolfo Camarillo High School where he is passionate about motivating young adults to pursue their dreams and aspirations. You can find Hugo on a Sunday afternoon along the Oxnard beach walking his husky, Thor.
Gabrielle Stallings - Operations Supervisor
Gabrielle's interest in wine manifested while working in the tech industry in Los Angeles. She became WSET Level 2 certified on the weekends as a hobby. After moving to Santa Barbara in 2020 with her husband, she felt the call to help at Cottage Hospital and stayed there for 2 years. She is excited to expand her wine knowledge and continue to connect with the Santa Barbara community. When she's not at Meritage, you can find her around town or on a hike with her husband and rescue dog, Ulysses.