For us life's path has been anything but a straight line.Â Through luck, vision, and hard work we have carved out an idyllic lifestyle in the mountains above Napa Valley. Tom's interest in fine wine was sparked while he was working in finance for IBM, sampling wines on business trips and trading recommendations with friends. But it wasn't until he changed careers in 1991 that his appreciation for wine really took off. Tom left his IBM financial career to pursue a career as a chef. He attended California Culinary Academy in San Francisco where he graduated with high honors. He then went to work in some of California's best restaurants for such culinary legends as Michel Richard (Citrus) and Bradley Ogden (One Market); eventually taking a position at Brava Terrace Restaurant in St. Helena.Â Cooking for some of the most prominent vintners and winemakers in Napa Valley, Tom tasted the fruits of their labor alongside great wine county cuisine.Â It was here that his love of California wine was cemented.
After the birth of our first child, Tom left the restaurant business to be a stay-at-home dad while I continued telecommuting as a technical writer. It was during this time that the dream started to take shape. Outgrowing our Napa residence after the birth of our second child, we purchased a 10.5-acre property on Howell Mountain in 1998. Vineyard planning began in 2000 with viability studies, archeological, biological, and botanical surveys and mountains of paperwork required for the permitting process. The land was finally cleared and prepped inÂ 2003, the same year our third child was born.
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