St. Helena, California
First in our series of portraits of The American Entrepreneur is Rich Salvestrin of Salvestrin Winery. Rich met me at his family estate, and gave me a personalized tour of his winery. The estate that houses the winery has been in the Salvestrin family for three generations - growing grapes to be sold to other wineries. Rich began his first harvest and his foray into being a vintner fifteen years ago.
Rich Salvestrin, in the tasting room, with three bottles of their current vintages.
Salvestrin is a family owned and operated vineyard and winery, a real rarity in this age. The Salvestrin family grows and sells grapes as they have done for nearly 78 years, but for the last 15 years they have been making wine as well from a portion of their grapes. Rich grew up in the small Napa Valley town of St. Helena on his family's vineyard and knew from a very early age that he wanted to be involved in the business. He wanted to both carry on the family tradition and be in control of his future. Moving into making wine from his family's grapes was a natural progression.
While Rich acknowledges that history will likely see this period as an economic milestone, he believes in what he and his family are doing. And that comes with a freedom to make things happen. He understands his market and has put together a creative and hardworking team.
Rich Salvestrin, amongst his barrels, at the Salvestrin Winery in St. Helena, California.
His passion for the vineyard keeps him focused. As the third generation of the Salvestrin family, raising the fourth generation on the same land, he is keenly aware of his actions. He knows first hand that the decisions he makes as a businessman will affect family, community and environment many years into the future. This is particularly true in the wine and farming business due to length of the cycle from grape to bottle. He is striving to makes his business grow for future generations.
He tells us that “the freedom to chart your own course and the lifestyle is the reward.”
That and the occasional glass of wine that tells the story of your family legacy.
You can find out more about Salvestrin Winery by clicking here. If you're in Northern California, call them up to schedule a tasting and all of you on Twitter, be sure to follow the daily goings-on of @SalvestrinWine.
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