Karyl and I met in Desert Storm. We’ve been happily married now for 28 years. We are definitely partners in this operation. Karyl is arguably one of the best winemakers and is completely self-taught. She attended the U.C. Davis Winemaking Accreditation course to better her understanding of the intricate details of winemaking. Her engineering degree with loads of chemistry has been very valuable. Although her heart is her best asset, her nose, pallet and creativity has built a respected brand in homes and around dinner tables. She produces a variety of wine styles and, I promise, she has a wine that will satisfy anyone’s pallet. She is the heart and soul of WFV having never met a stranger. She feels comfortable talking about anything to anyone.
As for me, I’m a 4th generation farmer. I grew up in Colorado farming with my father, grandfather and for a short period of time, my great grandfather. My father and mother taught me everything I needed to succeed in life – and none of it from a textbook, cell phone or computer. Later, I learned I had a knack with 0’s & 1’s, so in addition to the farming and manual labor, I’ve assumed the IT roles around the business as well. You rarely will see me. I like to remain behind the curtain doing my own thing – I guess I’m more of a listener then a talker. My biggest mental stimulation is going to bed physically exhausted excited to start again the next day.
If I was to pinpoint things that Karyl and I lack, it would be understanding the trench work of business marketing and the psychological influences that effect the wine industry. You can’t sell wine with just a good product and a smile. There are thousands of brands that are equally as good (and probably less expensive) than a owner-operated boutique farm winery like ours. We have discovered it’s all about relationships – a bond between us and our valued customers and members.