People always want to hear a romantic story about a winery’s beginnings; I can’t say that we have that, but we have an authentic one. I am a farmer through and through – it was my identity and my trade – but transitioning to winery owner…that happened almost by accident.
My grandfather, Angelo, came from Italy to San Francisco in 1906. He stayed after the infamous 1906 earthquake and assisted in the rebuild, but eventually came out to the Stockton area. Over time, my grandfather acquired property in Lodi – on Peltier Road and Ray Road, to be exact – on my mother’s side, they farmed vineyards on DeVries Road.
We were strictly farmers up until the 1980s, when I joined the co-op at East Side Winery. But when the winery was put up for auction in 2002, I put an offer in with my partner Don Reynolds. Turns out we were the only bidders! So ready or not, we were entering the winemaking business.
It has been an exciting, insightful, and humbling journey. Over the years, we have found our stride – we aim to grow the best grapes possible, and we work with our dedicated team at the winery to produce approachable, affordable wines that people enjoy.