The Vineyard Founders in 1998
‘DAMAS’ means ‘ladies’ in Spanish, but it is also an acronym for the vineyard founders: Deborah and Mara and Scooter—our original canine vineyard manager. We had bought a hobby farm in the early 1990s, but soon discovered we did not enjoy tending finicky peach and pecan trees. We started taking courses in vineyard management at UC Davis, and found that we did enjoy caring for the grape vines—our “training vines” that had been planted in uneven rows in random clumps. We decided to redesign the vineyard and orchards. We tore out the pecans and peaches, as well as the training vines. In 1998, we planted over 1,200 new vines grafted onto phylloxera-resistant root stock, and DAMAS vineyards was born. We later added 50 Petite Syrah vines and a dozen Alicante Bouchet vines for field blending. They enhance the complexity and color of our estate-grown vines, and add more color to our vineyard.
Every season brings new challenges and learning experiences, but twenty-plus years later, we still enjoy tending our vineyard and producing award-winning wines.