The idea for tercero wines surfaced a number of years back. Larry Schaffer had been in the educational and trade publishing industry for a number of years and had achieved all he had set out to do. It was time for a change . . . . but to what? Christie MacDonald, Larry’s wife, suggested wine . . . but not wine sales. She suggested that if one is to make a change, go big and all the way . . . She ‘gave her blessings’ to Larry to go back to school and achieve a second degree, this one in Viticulture and Enology. Now one must understand that there are only a few schools offering a degree like this, and none of them were within driving distance of where they currently lived . . . and top that off with the fact that they had two young children at the time (and a third coming along in the not so distant future)! Christie continued to suggest this concept, knowing that it would make for a challenging couple of years, but hopeful that the end would justify the mean . . .
Fast forward four years . . . and Larry begins his new career in earnest as the Enologist for Fess Parker Winery, a well-respected winery in the Santa Ynez Valley. Why here? The winemaking community is willing and wanting to help each other, but more importantly, it is simply an incredible place to raise children!
Fast forward another year, and Larry and Christie are ready to ‘take the plunge’ and start buying grapes to make their own wines! It’s scary and challenging at the same time – no matter how much you read about it or do it for others, it’s quite different when it’s ‘your own baby’ . . . But it’s also a way for Larry to ‘marry’ his past with his present – to use his sales/marketing skills along with his technical winemaking skills to see what he and Christie can produce . . .
To be continued . . .