We're nothing without our team...
Emmanuel Delgado | Luis Marquez | Jose Amezcua, Assistant Vineyard Manager | Jesus Espinoza, Vineyard Manager | Jose Marquez
YOU DON’T KNOW JACK
John’s dad, Jack Caldwell, retired at age 62 and spent the next 30+ years working at our estate. When John first got started in the vineyard business, he needed an extra set of hands. And Jack was qualified to do, well, anything. He was raised on a ranch, and started ridin’ a tractor when he was five. He’d put in lots of time as a mechanic on the ranch and in the Navy, and that’s what he liked the most. He handled the mechanical stuff at Caldwell every day for more than 30 years. Things broke a lot, so Jack set up a shop under the palm tree in front of the Kreuzer’s old cheese barn, and worked there every day, fixing things.
Jack and John planted the Chardonnay block together on July 4th in 1982. Once they started gettin’ into it, they figured out why no one else wanted to buy this land. It was a very rocky situation, and everyone else figured it was too hard. We didn’t have a rock picker, so Jack went out and bought one – new. It did a good enough job so we could plant.
It took 15 years to get it all sorted. Jack took care of all the loose ends he was capable of –which was just about all of ‘em. He helped put in the irrigation. He helped with the underground work for the cave (which started when he was 87 years old), bringing in and laying all the pipe and electric and everything. He helped trench and install it. He helped put the fire line in. He’d never done it before, but he worked it out, and somehow it passed. Jack worked hard out here, delivering all the fruit and keeping all the big trucks and machines humming along until he was well into his 90s. Hard work never bothered him.
"And I ain’t made up nothin' yet." – Jack Caldwell