Larry Gomez

People often ask how I ended up in the wine business. The easiest response that I can think of is that this is where I started.

As kids, my brother and I started hanging around my Uncle Tony’s vineyard in Napa.  We were drawn to the peace and toil of farming with no clue of its economics.  Brother Rick went straight to Uncle Tony’s vineyard after high school and took over the farming.  I went to Cal Poly to study Fruit Science so there would be a spot for me.  In the mean time we learned the 1980’s version of the pitfalls of wine grape production, and understood the industry for what it was at the time.  We were producing Riesling and Pinot Noir on the Napa Valley floor, along with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.  Between frost protection and harvest parties and Uncle Tony yelling at our mistakes, they were the best of times.

As the Napa valley grew up in the world and the varietals we had in the field proved misplaced, Uncle Tony had had his fill.  Replanting to Cabernet Sauvignon and years out of production were out of the question.  The vineyard was offered and sold in 1986.  Rick took a job as Vineyard Manager in Solano Co., and I headed to graduate school to study enology and for my M.S. in Agricultural Chemistry. 

My professional winemaking carrier started in Brandy production at the winery where Rick grew grapes.  Then after graduation, to Monterey Co. as Assistant winemaker for Lockwood Vineyard in 1991.  I worked at Lockwood until the 1998 vintage where I was hired as Red Winemaker for J. Lohr Winery in Paso Robles.  Rick soon followed as Manager of one of the J. Lohr vineyards.   At this time I purchased 20 acres not more than a mile from my desk at Lohr.  The piece had a promising soil make up and I started working.  The task of taking a bare piece of dirt to the vineyard and winery it is today is going to be in my final highlight film when my time is done.  In 1999 I planted a vineyard with 11 varietal blocks each with clonal variations and started the wait for third leaf.

After four vintages with J.Lohr, then two at the Wildhorse Winery, I completed my Via Vega Vineyard and Winery and crushed my first harvest in 2002.  A twist of fate brought me back to Lockwood Vineyard as Winemaker from 2004 through the 2011 harvest when the brand was sold.

Our family is now firmly planted here and we invite you to enjoy the flavors and the charm of this place. It’s where we have ended up in the wine business.