Published: 1 years 198 days ago
Growing Region: Sonoma County
Grower: Dana Grande
Dana Grande is quick to downplay her contributions to the success of Jordan Vineyard and Winery, but her intuitive approach to vineyard management can’t be denied.
With no formal education in agriculture, Dana learned the profession years ago from a mentor who kindly took her under his wing.
“I was working in a vineyard office and when harvest came around I kept going out into the field where everyone was working. Eventually my boss said, ‘It seems that you like being outside more than inside, so we’ll start training you to do field scouting.’ That’s how I got started.”
Since then, she’s rounded out her knowledge through Extension courses and personal contacts. “My rolodex is filled with people I couldn’t do this job without,” says Dana. “You read a lot, you pay attention, you ask questions. You can learn a lot that way.”
Dana credits the Jordan family with taking great pains to plant their vines around the scores of oak trees dotting the vineyard’s landscape. “It’s really nicely integrated and it’s quite pretty.”
For her part, Dana has expanded the vineyard’s composting program—a green practice that allows the vines to give something back to the soil in which they grow.
Her secret to growing great grapes? “Putting the right grape in the right piece of ground. And then you leave it alone. It will grow the way it’s supposed to.” She especially loves growing cabernet. “It’s just the easiest thing in the world to grow.”
When it comes to drinking wine, however, whites win her over: a good sauvignon blanc or dry riesling or gewürtztraminer. “I love just sitting in the back yard at the end of the day with a nice glass of one of the white wines that I love. That is great.”
As Dana puts it, “When you open a bottle of wine with a meal, everyone is sitting and is together. Wine helps solidify that togetherness.”
Toughest part of her job: “Finding balance in every little facet of what this job requires.”
What she loves more than wine: Husband Steve and daughters Olivia and Allison
How she gives to the community: Volunteering for her local elementary school.
Work motto: “When you come to work everyday, leave the place better than you found it.”