On December 6th, we gathered under the Oak tree to say Thank You to La Cuadrilla, enjoy a meal together, and distribute the profits of the Cuadrilla blend.
Mother Nature gave us a perfect growing season in 2012, and it was up to La Cuadrilla to insure every grape picked reached its maximum potential. Tom Stolpman, the Patron, drove up from Long Beach; the winemaking team Sashi Moorman, John Faulkner, and Chris King arrived from Lompoc; and Coastal Vineyard Care Partners Jeff Newton and Ben Mehrs joined their colleague Ruben Solorzano; all to honor Stolpman’s famous vineyard crew.
It filled me with pride to address the crew before handing out the bonuses. The members already know it, but they’re the most efficient, meticulous viticulturalists I’ve ever heard of, and they should be recognized for their talent and dedication. Ruben, Dad, and I kept it brief so we could pass out the envelopes. It helps that we put our money where our mouth is when we talk about the importance of our vineyard crew!
It’s not just tacos and lip service at Stolpman, although they are delicious tacos!
Forewoman Lupe and Forman Osvaldo were called first followed by tractor operators Salvador and Pepe. Veteran members Leobardo, Constantino, Lujan, and Javier then collected their envelopes followed by junior associate Amador, and then rookie members Galdino and Benjamin. The three man crush crew was also honored. Juan Carlos, Julio and senior cellar hand Salvador sorted, foot stomped, punched down, pressed, and barreled over 250 tons this year! Not all the hard work happens in the field.
On top of the Cuadrilla bonus, we all donned the newest addition of La Cuadrilla hoodies designed by the talented Kari Crist. The new hoodie depicts a pirate-style map of the vineyard complete with Ruben’s face atop his block, an airplane flying down L’Avion, a matterhorn looming above Hilltops, and a mermaid in the reservoir. This vineyard has a lot of personality and Kari brought it out beautifully!