Partner and Winemaker
As a third generation San Franciscan I grew up a city boy. Visiting relatives’ and friends’ ranches and farms seemed exotic. I recall that at dinner most times there was a bottle of wine on the table. Wine became a natural adjunct to meals.
After pursuing a Degree in Education I soon found that my interests resided elsewhere. Wine and the Wine Country north of SF had been a hobby for a few years and I decided to turn an avocation into a career. While running a wine shop I changed my major to Enology/Viticulture. I transferred to Fresno State University where I received a BS and MS in Enology Food Science with a minor in Viticulture all the while working at local and Napa wineries. After completion of grad work I took a winemaking position in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Two years later I found myself back in California working as an Assistant Winemaker at a Napa winery.
In 1983 I accepted a position as winemaker at St. Francis Winery in Sonoma Valley. The next 30 years was a great ride, from developing new wines, purchasing new vineyards and assisting in the design of a state-of-the-art winery, equipping and staffing the facility and supervising the various winemaking departments. I helped establish Merlot as a serious varietal earning the title “Master of Merlot” from the Wine Spectator. Robert Parker rated our wines as some of the finest in California.
Some of the other accolades:
Top Regional Winery 1997- Wine and Spirits Buying Guide
1999 Winemaker of the Year Quarterly Review of Wines
2001 International Red Winemaker of the Year- London International Wine Fair
2005 Winemaker of the Year - NY Institute of Technology/QRW
Some of my fondest memories include the people with whom I worked from the winery founders, to the current administration; to all the people I mentored. With starting our own winery in 2014, we look to the future 41 years in this business and the ride continues……………..
Partner and Assistant Winemaker
Clyde was born in Montibello, California in 1959. In 1962, his family moved to Northern California and eventually purchased a ranch between Red Bluff and Chico. While growing up, Clyde and his family spent mornings, evenings and weekends upgrading the property and commercially raising sheep, cattle and hogs. After graduating from California State University, Chico in 1982 with a degree in Geology, Clyde spent the 1980’s working in the western United States as a gold exploration geologist. The unexpected death of his father made him reconsider his priorities and isolated lifestyle. In 1990, he graduated with high honors from the California Culinary Academy, then went to work for a Napa Valley country club in their upscale dinner restaurant. Seeking further challenges, Clyde worked from 1991 to 2002 in the environmental cleanup sector, eventually reaching the position of Senior Geologist. In 2002, he was hired by the County of Sonoma to perform environmental work at all of the county’s closed and active landfills. He currently works in the County’s Traffic Division, using his radar gun to intimidate would-be speeders.
Clyde’s love of wine and food dates back to his childhood spent on the family ranch. His mother taught him how to cook and can fruits and vegetables and his father taught him how to raise, butcher, and process livestock from their ranch. His first homemade wine was a 1979 Thompson Seedless made in a pickle crock that startled the judges at the California State Fair Wine Competition with its ‘crunchy, yet sweet’ bouquet. Clyde stopped making wine soon after Cal EPA threatened to impound his crock and focused on wine consumption. Over the past 25 years, Clyde has also catered numerous private and public events ranging from winery events to surprise birthday parties. He and his wife Ann have been advocates and volunteer members of Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) for the past 20 years, organizing and working at numerous events from coast to coast. In their spare time, Clyde and Ann breed and show champion Basset Hounds under the Vintage Basset Kennel moniker. In their evenings, Clyde and Ann fight for space on their bed with their 3 overly affectionate bassets.