History records Our Past . . . Heritage determines Our Future
The picture shows Bill's Grandfather Michael (front-left) with other family members and the very first barrels of Vintage 1919.
My Grandfather was my first mentor. As a boy I followed him through our vineyards and winery.
A stoic man who worked from dawn to dusk enduring both success and hardship without showing emotion.
Then we came to the cellar where he would pull out a bottle of wine from a past vintage and his demeanor would change.
Holding that bottle he would begin to talk about the weather of the growing season that year, becoming more animated in describing the wine's flavor continuing to develop in the bottle.
I paid attention to what he was talking about but I also remember thinking how powerful wine is that just the memory of it could change this man's personality.
This cellar experience would later become a pivot point in my life.
I developed a lifelong interest in wine, it's history, it's flavors and the philosophy surrounding its six thousand years of existence.
My father was an electrical engineer who had flown a Spitfire during WW2. Later as I was growing up he moved us from our country farm life to Sydney when he became a computer engineer.
This was an exciting time for us as he made business-trips to America just as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin of the Apollo 11 mission were walking on the moon.
I followed his lead into the field of computer science and built a career in the software industry.
In our business life my wife Dawn and I created two successful software startups and consulted to major wineries around the world on wine quality issues which somehow always involved sumptuous wine dinners.
We took every opportunity to meet local winemakers, spend time in their vineyards, on the crush pads at harvest, in the labs and always made the effort to continuously taste more and more wines, refining our palates.
Then we discovered California wine country and decided to change our family's life direction from high tech back to our original wine roots.
We have spent the last thirty years applying ourselves to sustainably farming our vineyards scattered across Sonoma and Napa growing terroir-focused premium wine grapes and making natural, flavorful wines without the intervention of herbicides or chemicals.
Now, over a century after his first vintage, we have taken Grandfather's experience and merged it with over forty years of our own technology experience and global wine education.
How exciting that exactly fifty years after that first Apollo Luna landing we would be invited to have dinner at NASA with the Apollo astronauts and engineering team, thanks to my son Sam and our wines.