gmhTODAY 19 gmhToday April May 2018 - Page 113

The Vine continued from page 109 Do you have a funny customer story? Years ago, we delivered five cases of wine, our minimum order, to an elderly woman who lived in Oakland. When she greeted us, she said, “Wait a minute, I’ll get my kid to help unload the wine.” Before long, out came her 80-year old son. You are well known for being very generous to the community – always donating your wines and lending a hand/equipment to new winemakers. What is your general philosophy about your giving? We care about our community and it’s important for us to be a contributing member. It is what our grandparents taught us about giving back. We want to see everyone be successful. What is your best accomplishment or award? Dale Lockman, Pattieʼs creative partner, working on the historic “cook” wagon. Our wines consistently win awards. The San Jose Mercury News awarded us the Best Zinfandel in the state back in the 1980s. But it is the pleasure that we see on our customers’ faces when they drink our wine that is really our biggest reward. Being in this industry all of our lives – it is about more than just the wine – it is about the people that are so special to us. How much longer will you be working here? Do you have any plans to retire? site by oxen or horses and left standing. Sort of the RVs of the time. Oxen and dray horses are very slow and they would be driven by people walking alongside or on horse- back so there was no need for a seat on the wagon. This wagon is even more special because it clearly had windows and a stove. This was most common in “cook” wagons. The marks on the floor from the old iron stove legs are very clear and even though some of the windows have been boarded over, you can see where they once let light into the wagon. Shepherds’ cook wagons were also different than the chuck wagons of the cowboys because the cooks were frequently women. The women had bunks in the wagon where they could safely sleep at night. Further research by Steven showed that his particular cook wagon had come from the Fresno area. There are many more sheep ranches there now as there were at the turn of the 19th century. Steven worked hard on the wagon to keep it from deteriorating. Peeling paint, rotted wood and rusting metal were refurbished or replaced and the coachwork was trued. He built nice steps leading up to a deck at the door on the rear of the coach so visitors could easily visit. Quaint electric lighting was added to diminish the risk of the open flames of the original kerosene or oil lamps. The interior has been decorated with the intention of calling to mind and honoring the people who lived and worked in the cook trailer. His efforts with the wagon have helped to preserve a little part of history and a flavor of the past. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN We could have retired a long time ago if we wanted to - but we’re still healthy and enjoy what we are doing so we don’t have a set target date to retire just yet. Angelia, (Gene’s daughter), who recently joined us, is part of our fourth generation. Angelia has a Hospitality/Customer Service background and is just now getting her feet wet in the industry. Your winery hosts a dizzying number of annual events— what was your favorite event this past year? We enjoyed so many events but some of our favorites were the St. Louise Hospital fundraiser, the South Valley Symphony and ALFIO, the very popular singer and entertainer from Italy which we hope to bring back this year. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one wine to drink, what would it be? Gene: Probably a Zinfandel – it is a good, all around red wine. George: I would rather have a cold beer. Bev Stenehjem is a local wine enthusiast, author and freelance writer focused on the wineries of Santa Clara Valley. Bev wrote “The Wineries of Santa Clara Valley,” a historical photo book published by Arcadia Publishing in 2015. Bev conducts occa- sional wine and food pairing events at the local wineries and through Gavilan College Community Education. She is passionate about shining a light on the world-class wines of the Santa Clara Valley and the people behind them. APRIL/MAY 2018 gmhtoday.com 113