In March of 1997 we purchased 48 acres of steep wooded property in Calistoga. We found the property on the internet, an old private boys school that had fallen into disrepair. We made an offer, prayed we would get it and then "oh no!' We got it. Everything needed repair, especially the water system encased not in PVC or iron pipe, but some obscure polyethylene rubber that produced ongoing leaks that would drain our holding tank leaving us without water till fixed. We called it a project. Our friends called us crazy. "You must be out of your mind" the guys told me. "You're so brave" Treva's girl friends sympathized.
I'm a third generation San Franciscan and my dad Tommy Harris was a famous entertainer, restaurant owner and acknowledged city character. He and my mom were married as teens, running away to Reno with 50 dollars borrowed from Meredith Willson who produced the Radio Show "The Happy Go Lucky Gang" in San Francisco. He would later strike it rich with his musical "The Music Man." These were the days when radio was king. The 1930's with big bands, stage shows and intimate night clubs, it was an exciting time to be alive. World War Two was on the horizon and Las Vegas was still a sand box.
I spent lots of time when I was growing up, in Napa Valley. My dad loved the hot springs in Calistoga and our family had a country home in Glen Ellen over on the Sonoma side during the war. Food and wine were always topics of conversation in our house, and we spent a lot of time with our dad at his night club "The House of Harris," when we could talk him into taking us.
Treva grew up in Columbus, Ohio. A Midwest girl with values and sensibilities from our country's heartland that would help her survive "the project." We met at a 49er game in 1973. There are many different versions of who fell in love first, but regardless, after 38 years of marriage it's still a love affair. Treva came to California in 1970, an Ohio State Buckeye who loved the weather and lifestyle so much she never went back. By the time we met she had already developed a taste for fine wine and gourmet cooking while raising two children.
I retired in 2005 after 32 years as a pediatric dentist in Silicon Valley. I always said that after 32 years of beating up little kids anyone could use a great glass of wine. I never thought we would be the ones making it. Making wine was never part of our original plan, but after having our soils tested we were told we had to plant vines because the soils were so outstanding. We decided to plant three separate vineyards with French clone cabernet sauvignon. With the help of our vineyard manager Michael Black, and Paul Hobbs purchasing our first available crop, we knew we were on the right track.
We have now completed our 10th harvest with the 2012 vintage and we can sit back and reflect on what a ride it has been. We have made so many friends and lots of raving fans. Our wines are being served in great restaurants and lovely homes across the country. Each new vintage continues to express the unique characteristics of our estate grown terroir driven wines. Thanks for sharing our dreams with us. We love all the emails and letters we receive telling us how much you love our wines. We promise our best is yet to come.
Cheers and thank you,
Mike and Treva Harris