We're nothing without our team...
Bryan Toy | Ashley Terradista | John Caldwell
Marbue Marke, Winemaker | Maurilio Camarillo | Rueben Osequeda, Cellar | Marcos Infante, Cellar | Rudy Hernandez, Cellar Lead
"Pato" (Rear) Paso Viola, Oenologist | Larry Kent (Front), Assistant Winemaker | Mauston (Bernese Mountain Dog)
Emmanuel Delgado | Luis Marquez | Jose Amezcua, Assistant Vineyard Manager | Jesus Espinoza, Vineyard Manager | Jose Marquez
YOU DON’T KNOW JACK
At 94, John’s Dad works on the vineyard every day, and dammed if he’s not smart as a whip and still going strong.
I retired when I was 62. That was 29 years ago. I’ve been working with John on this property ever since. John bought it back in ’74. When he decided he was gonna get into the vineyard business in the early 80’s, he needed a person. And I was qualified to do… well… anything. I was raised on a ranch and worked that forever. I started riding a tractor when I was five. I’ve put in lots of time as a mechanic─both on the ranch and in the Navy. I like the mechanical stuff the best. I’m still doing that. Every day.
We planted the Chardonnay block on July 4th in 1982. We started gettin’ into it and figured out why no one else wanted to buy this land. It was a very rocky situation and everyone else thought it would be too hard. We didn’t even have a rock picker so I went out and bought one─new. It did a good enough job so we could plant. Things broke a lot so I set up a shop under the palm tree in front of the Kreuzer’s old cheese barn, and worked there every day, fixing things.
It took us 15 years to get it all sorted. I took care of all the loose ends that I was capable of─which was about everything. We put in all the irrigation. We did all the underground work for the cave (that started when I was 87 years old), we brought in and laid all the pipe and electric and everything. We trenched it all and installed it. We put the fire line in. We’d never done that before, but we worked it out, and somehow it passed. Me and the boys work hard out here. We still repair all the equipment, deliver all the fruit and keep all the big trucks and machines running.
Work doesn’t bother me. Money has always been the hardest thing. Not the work. And so far, I’m doing alright… And I ain’t made up nothin yet." – Jack Caldwell