About Us

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 first traveled to the Sierra foothills in the early 1990s and were smitten by the landscape. It reminded us of Tuscany. We bought a Texas couple’s hobby farm, but quickly learned that we did not enjoy tending finicky peach and pecan trees. We  did enjoy caring for the grape vines—our “training vines” that had been planted in uneven rows in random blocks. We read books and took courses and talked to neighbors. Once we became decent vineyard managers, we took a leap. We tore out the pecans and peaches, as well as those training vines. In 1998, we planted over 1,200 new vines grafted onto phylloxera-resistant 110-R root stock–and DAMAS vineyards was born. We later added 50 Petite Sirah 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 in the fall.

Every season brings new challenges and learning experiences, but over thirty years later, we still enjoy tending our vineyard and producing award-winning wines. We also produce award-winning estate grown extra virgin olive oil. Check out some of our recent newsletters on the Fun Stuff link. You can also pick up a copy of Mara’s book, Estate Grown: Planting Roots in Fiddletown, published in 2023. It describes the trials, surprises, tribulations, and joys of working our land and settling into a new community.