Eric Trojak was born in San Francisco and has lived on the Peninsula all his life. He currently resides in El Granada, just a short distance from the winery, with his wife Lynne. After a career in Health Care and more recently as a Real Estate Broker, he is slowly transitioning to full-time winemaker. Though he has taken a number of winemaking courses from UC Davis as well as extensive reading about the subject, he is, for the most part, a self taught winemaker. After starting out helping at a small home winemaking group he and his long time friend Jim Knier struck out on their own in 1993.
For Eric, winemaking has become his passion and believes it is the perfect blending of art and science. Though the winemaking process is very similar year to year, every vintage is different and has it's own characteristics and challenges. He enjoys watching the wines develop throughout the year from angular and one dimensional to plush and broad flavored and only gently guiding them through the process.
Eric believes that the winemaker should have a very light hand and says, "We are caretakers of the fruit. We take what the vineyard gives us and then, for the most part, get out of the way." His view is that it is much more important to hear what the vineyard has to say than what the winemaker does. When people ask him how he knows when the wines are ready he says, "They tell me."
Jim was born in Pennsylvania, the youngest of three children. He was raised in Toronto and moved to Half Moon Bay at sixteen where he finished high school and eventually received a degree in business.
His career spans seven years in financial printing and 30 years in the "show business of business", including trade shows and museums.
Friends for decades, Eric and Jim knew they could produce a superior wine if they could gain access to the best fruit — a difficult task for small producers. They acheived this through an arrangement with the Antinori Family Estate, and the rest is history...and history in the making.
Jim as two daughters, Willow and Arielle, and one son, Austin. Other interests include golf and canoe trips.
"The highest calling and most satisfying element of what we do, besides the great friendship we have, is the pure joy and passionate responses ongoing."