Jeff's inspiration was his Grandfather, a WWI veteran who fell in love with wine while serving in France. He came home to prohibition, so began making his own wine. Jeff hung out with him as a small boy and learned the basic craft of wine making, but more so, was inspired by his Grandpa’s love of the process."I like to say that there have been several generations of winemakers in our family, but I’m the only one that’s legal!"
Jeff left a career in Environmental Law and Environmental Engineering in Minnesota to come to Paso Robles. His early career was spent tromping around very dirty hazardous waste super fund sites and then designing engineering projects to clean them up. The later half of his career (after a stint in law school) brought him face-to-face with the responsible parties and the task of attempting to bring them to justice.
After inhaling enough "tetra-methyl-terrible" and "di-methyl-double-death" Jeff decided to follow a dream he had since childhood of planting a small vineyard and making wine the way his grandfather had many years before. So he chucked three degrees, 22 years of schooling, and almost overnight became a farmer.
Florence had a much more unlikely road to Paso Robles. She grew up in Hong Kong in one of the most densely populated cities in the World. She "never" had the dream to plant a vineyard or to live on a farm! In spite of that, she has taken to the quiet farm life even more than Jeff. It is Florence who has begun their organic garden, started raising chickens, ducks, geese, squab, and other assorted fowl, and it is her who reminds us all to smell the flowers on occasion.
She spent her career in the garment industry as a fashion designer and importer ever since finishing college. Once we moved to Paso Robles, she did a stint in Hong Kong for a year, and then came back home to a much quieter life. Flo NEVER dreamed of farming with a team of horses while growing up in busy Hong Kong!
Florence and Jeff have undertaken the monumental task to manage and work the vineyard and winery without much hired labor. With the exception of the picking and actual planting they have done nearly everything else, including: surveying and layout (a task to test any marriage!), installation of the drip irrigation system, training, pruning, hand hoeing, plowing, cultivating, canopy management, etc.
Their two young Daughters, Grace and Gwendolyn, help out as much as they can; but mostly just give Jeff and Flo the joy of seeing their love of life on the farm.