The number one question we used to get was; “Who takes care of your vineyards”. We still do get that question from time to time from people just meeting us. Now though the number one question is, “Are you doing this full time?”
The answer is yes and no. Since we get that questions so much I thought it was time for a crew review.
Millie has been with us the longest, since 2004. She works for us about 2 days per week on average. She does vineyard work and any construction tasks we have. When we do vineyard installations she’s the lead person on those.
Herrardo has been with us since 2007. We usually refer to him as Jerry since people have a hard time pronouncing Herrardo. He’s working about one day per week on average. He does our heavy labor including construction work, netting and major repairs. He also puts together our crews for us when we need larger groups. Mostly the crews are his family.
Ron has been with us since 2010. He works a few days a month on local sales for us. Getting our wine into local restaurants in Santa Cruz and San Jose.
Jaye is our newest person. She’s in the picture above working in the winery. She joined us last September. She’s done everything for us, vineyard work, winery work, shipping and she’s starting to do a little bit of sales work. Our plan is when we open a tasting room she’ll run that. She’s working about 30 hours a week for us.
Stefania is full time and gets a paycheck now, which she cashes about once every 7 weeks She’s really become the General Manager. She runs everything day to day and handles all the winery and vineyard management including the finance side of the business and dealing with vendors.
So my usual response to the questions is; “I still have a day job, someone has to have health insurance.” I run a group of about 50 support engineers, managers and account managers in the software part at a very big high tech company. I’ve been there 8 years and have enough vacation time that I can take off the 15-20 days a year when my presence in the winery is really critical. These days most of my tasks are planning vineyard maintenance and doing the winemaking.