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Family Tradition

Beginnings

It seems like I was destined to be a winemaker. My great grandfather originally came from Switzerland in the 1870s and settled in Solano County. On my mother's side, my grandfather and grandmother owned a small winery in the Spring Mountain District above the Napa Valley in 1906. I remember my grandmother telling me about how hard they worked in the vineyard in those first few years, the 18-hour days, the years with no rain, the rattlesnakes in the vines... times were tough back then. The Vellas, my father's side of the family, came to Stanislaus County to start farming grapes in 1920.

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