Santa Cruz Mountains is a vibrant grape-growing and wine-making area with lots of experts living and working around us. This page highlights a few who have been instrumental in my journey. I differentiate between:
- Contractors and consultants - professionals I have hired to plant the vineyard and to teach me how to manage it
- Live-in wine makers - young promising wine makers who enjoy a special deal: they get to live or free in the winery’s apartment in return for teaching me how to make wine and helping out par-time in the cellar.
- Others– contacts and friends who have been instrumental in apprenticeship and life-long learning as aspiring vigneron.
Of course there were many more who provided valuable input over time.
Ron Mosley, Vinescape: Ron was our first contact in the local wine business. He designed and planted our vineyard in 1997 with rootstock and vines he deemed most appropriate for the site, and he took care of it during the first 3 years under a management contract. Ron is a very valuable resource for the local owners of vineyards. See how he explains pruning in a video http://radaris.com/ng/public/video?url=www.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dh6XS2y36k5Q%26feature%3Dyoutube_gdata&f=Ricky&l=Anzalone&title=VASCM+Pruning+Demo+1
Rick Anzalone: took over vineyard management from Ron Mosley in 2000 under a more flexible arrangement: He taught me how to care for the vineyard myself and let me slowly take over responsibility myself. By 2005 I thought I learned it all only to find out that I had not by making my own mistakes. So I continue to rely on Rick for occasional advice & consulting.
Healy, joined 2008 as resident wine-maker and teacher for 4 years. His job
was to help me select the equipment for the winery and teach me how to make
wine. Most of what I know about hands-on wine-making comes from Aran, an
indispensable supplement to books and seminars. Aran currently runs Savvy
Cellar Wines, a wine bar & shop http://www.savvycellar.com/,
and Carlotta Cellars, a winery both in San Francisco.
joined in 2013 as joint wine-maker, residing on the property. His job is to
bring his experience of wine-making in Hungary, New Zealand and California to
the table and add new perspectives to our current approaches. David and I
jointly decide how to improve our processes and incorporate new ideas
Others important influencers
Dave Estrada, Clos Tita bought our grapes 2001 – 2007 and made beautiful Bordeaux style claret with it. Dave is the quintessential artisan winemaker in the Santa Cruz Mountain appellation. The quality of his wine convinced me that our grapes have excellent potential and he remains my benchmark for the production of our own wines. In 2007, unfortunately, Dave decided to concentrate on making exclusively Pinots, so he stopped purchasing our Cabernet grapes. http://www.clostitawinery.com
Byron & Lynda Anderson are our neighbours and friends. They introduced me to vineyard management (Lynda) and wine-making (Byron) based on their extensive experience as home wine-makers over decades. Lynda was to first to point out to me what mildew looked like in our vineyard (I thought I had none) and Byron showed me how to make and bottle our first cabernet on the pavement in front of our garage with poor grapes from 3-year-old vines. We are saving the bottle.