Beth and Lindy Novak65 MINUTES

A new podcast series from Doug Shafer about the people behind the food and wine you love.

The Taste with Doug Shafer logo

Doug Shafer with Beth and Lindy Novak

Beth and Lindy Novak have lots of great memories of growing up in Napa Valley including hanging out with the Shafer kids. But things got tough when their father died unexpectedly and their mother, Mary Novak, had to figure out her next steps. Fortunately Mary and her daughters created Spottswoode Estate, turning it into one of the top wineries in Napa Valley.  Enjoy!

For more visit: spottswoode.com


The Taste with Doug Shafer is also available on:

Available on iTunes Stitcher iTunes Soundcloud Soundcloud

Want to hear about future podcasts?

Enter your email address and we’ll stay in touch.


FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

Doug:
Welcome back everybody. Um, we have a special day today, this is the first time on The Taste that I've had not one guest, but two, and these two folks have been very patient, and we've been trying to get together, and the reason I haven't told you why it took so long is we had to get a ... another microphone (laughs) so that's part of the delay.

Um, special treat today, two siblings here, long time personal friends, professional friends, our families started their relationship many, many years ago, I think over 40 years.

Beth:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
Parents. Um Beth and Lindy Novak in charge of a truly great, historic, top quality family vineyard and wine estate in St. Helena, Spottswoode. Welcome guys.

Lindy:
Thank you very much.

Beth:
Thanks for having us here.

Doug:
Good to be here. Get you two in the same room.

Beth:
It happens.

Doug:
Sisters, sisters.

Beth:
(Laughs) occasionally, yes.

Doug:
So ... Spottswoode, there's so many stories. There's the 1800s, there's before that, your folk's story, your stories, it's gonna be kinda crazy today, we're jumping all over, but you guys run with it as far as who talks when, you know, it's a sister sibling thing, I'll let you two figure that one out. I'll be, I'm not gonna get involved in that.

Lindy:
Get involved in that? So can we break our sister song?

Beth:
We could.

Doug:
But um ... we could.

Beth:
We could indeed, yes. Yeah, we could.

Doug:
(Laughs) but let's start in the beginning. Spottswoode, when did they start growing grapes at the Spottswoode estate?

Beth:
So, it was established as Spottswoode Estate in 1882 by a German immigrant who was a hotel manager down in Monterey. And so when he came to St. Helena and established this property that is now called Spottswoode, um, he designed it, uh, architecturally, it, to mimic what was down there, obviously on a much smaller scale.

Doug:
Okay.

Beth:
The Hotel Del Monte in Monterey is no longer there, it burned twice, and they ultimately moved out to Pebble Beach, that's why it's called the Del Monte Lodge in Pebble Beach, but-

Doug:
Oh that's why.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
Okay.

Beth:
So ... because it was the Del Monte forest, but there was this beautiful old- old hotel built around the same time as the Hotel Del Coronado.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
It's one of those old Victorian hotels that people would spend a lot of time at when people used to have a lot of time to spend places, unlike today.

Lindy:
(Laughs)

Doug:
That's ... that's true, well that's amaze, the, now, now I know the answer because Spottswoode is an amazingly gorgeous place, and so unique in St. Helena. .

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
So it's like, where'd that architecture come from? Okay.

Beth:
So that's- so he brought it up, he established the property in 1882, he did plant vines, we don't know what he planted, and he named the estate Esmeralda, which is "the emerald" in Spanish. And then he and his wife Catherine owned it until she passed away a couple years later, he sold it in 1906 to a family who named it Stonehearst 00:03:54 and then in '08 it was sold to a family who named it Lyndonhearst. And then ultimately, in 1910, a woman named Mrs. Spotts purchased it, and she named it Spottswoode in her late husband's memory.

Doug:
Mrs. Spotts.

Beth:
Mrs, Spotts.

Lindy:
Albert and Susan.

Doug:
That was what? What year was that? 19-

Beth:
Uh, 1910 is when she bought it.

Doug:
1910. Mrs. Spotts.

Beth:
Exactly, Mrs. Spots. And she named it Spottswoode, who knows, go figure.

Lindy:
Yep, I think she thought Spotts was too plain and boring.

Doug:
Yeah.

Lindy:
Yeah .

Doug:
Okay.

Beth:
But there was an original governor of Virginia, or one of the early governors of Virginia was a Spottswoode, maybe with no E.

Lindy:
So there were some-

Doug:
Okay, so-

Beth:
She pulled it from ...

Doug:
That's 1910, was she growing grapes?

Beth:
So we have to assume, we've never been able to figure out what George Schonewald planted. We have to assume that there were vines there.

Doug:
Okay.

Beth:
When, when she got there, or when he, yeah, when Mrs. Spotts got there. Um, but then, what was Prohibition, 1919 to 1933.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
So by the time bought the property, my- our parents.

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Beth:
Our mom and dad bought the property in 1972, there were post-Prohibition vines in the ground.

Doug:
Okay.

Beth:
So somewhere along the way, the vine- the original vines obviously went by the wayside because when we got there, there was a Petite Sirah, Napa Gamay, French Columbard, and Green Hungarian, you know, just those post-

Doug:
Yeah.

Beth:
Post-prohibition vines that were in the ground, and so whatever had been planted originally, we don't know.

Doug:
Okay. Fair enough. Alright, your folks. How'd they- how'd those two get together?

Beth:
Uh, go ahead.

Lindy:
Oh.

Doug:
Lind, uh, take it away Lindy!

Lindy:
(Laughs) yeah, whoa.

Doug:
This is fun, I might kind of have to play, oh, say, Lindy's right now.

Lindy:
Okay. Okay. So you tell me if I've, if I get most of the details right. Mom and Dad, uh, were at Stanford together. Dad's first year in college was in Notre, at Notre Dame.

Doug:
Okay.

Lindy:
Back in Indiana, and that's where he met Ray Duncan, and Ray Duncan actually ended up out here in part because Dad was looking at vineyards and-

Doug:
Ray Duncan who is-

Lindy:
Started Silver Oak.

Doug:
... no longer with us, but he starts Silver Oak with Justin Meyers.

Lindy:
That's right. Yeah.

Doug:
And the Duncan family owns it now.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
Wow, I didn't know that one. See? I told you there'd be things I didn't know.

Beth:
Yeah. But wait a minute, they didn't meet there, I do have to correct you.

Doug:
Okay.

Beth:
So, so my dad's, our dad's parents knew Ray Duncan's parents for some reason.

Doug:
Okay.

Beth:
And so when Dad went back, because he was born and raised in North San Diego County. So when he went back to Notre Dame in his first year, Ray was a couple years older than, than our dad was.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
And so they, they sort of said, "Hey," they said to Ray, "Take care of this, you know, this man coming out from uh, this young man coming out from California."

Lindy:
Befriend him.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
Befriend him, take care of him, under your wing. Which he did, but, but Dad only lasted a year because the weather was so awful.

Lindy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Beth:
That he didn't like it, and then he came back to Stanford and Lindy can, or came to Stanford, and Lindy can take it from there.

Lindy:
Yeah, so it's, it's uh ...

Doug:
But he grew up in California.

Lindy:
Southern California.

Beth:
Southern California. Yep.

Doug:
Okay.

Lindy:
San Diego County, yep. Uh, so I believe ... were they going up to Mammoth Lakes for a ski weekend? And somebody connected them ... because m- our mom wanted to go to church, she was a practicing Catholic.

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lindy:
Uh, and um, I believe somebody connected her with Dad, so that she could, he, he could give her a ride to church?

Beth:
Yeah, and I think it was Tahoe. But yes.

Lindy:
Okay. Okay, so that is how they got together and uh, I think, Dad was a fairly wild person in college, and I think Mom probably scratched her head, but he was fun.

Beth:
Right.

Lindy:
And so they uh, got together and uh, and stayed together and got married and ended up down in Los Angeles, which is where I was born.

Doug:
Okay.

Lindy:
And then we moved back down to uh, uh, a town called Rancho Santa Fe in San Diego County.

Doug:
In San Diego County, right?

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
Okay, and, and he was a doctor.

Lindy:
He was.

Beth:
Correct.

Doug:
So they're married, San Diego, he's a doctor. They have not one, not two, not three, four, five kids.

Beth:
Five children.

Doug:
Got it.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
And all of a sudden they come up to the Napa Valley, how ... how'd that happen?

Lindy:
That was the, the Sandbergs, uh, our friends the uh, Sandberg family, uh, knew the Chappellets and they were living in Los Angeles in Pasadena, and uh, didn't they, they decided to move up here, to uh-

Beth:
Yeah, Charlie and Joan Sandberg had also both gone to Stanford, and that's how Mom and Dad knew them, our mom and dad knew them.

Doug:
Got it.

Lindy:
Yep.

Beth:
So then they came up one time and visited.

Doug:
And visited.

Beth:
We visited them over Thanksgiving, it was pouring rain, but we came up and visited and ... White Hall Lane, now where, um, Dana Estates is, that's where they lived.

Doug:
Okay. Yeah, yeah, I remember that.

Beth:
Right. So we came up and, and visited, and uh, it seemed to me shortly thereafter, uh, Dad was seriously looking at properties up here.

Doug:
Okay so-

Beth:
With the intention of uh ...

Lindy:
So he's, yeah, he's 39.

Doug:
Yeah.

Lindy:
And it's probably something like your dad, you know, it's probably not that different. Dad's 39, he's a doctor down in San Diego, North San Diego County with uh, five children and a full time practice, and things are fine but he's 39 years old and he's, kinda bored and thinking, "I don't want to raise all my five children down here in this sort of environment."

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lindy:
Which felt was changing toward a more wealthy kind of uh, enclave then, and he had been born and raised in this place. And they just started looking around and for some reason this notion of agriculture, probably again, no different than your dad, wanting to raise your children in this more pastoral, rural, agrarian world.

Beth:
Agrarian.

Doug:
Right. Well Dad was 48.

Lindy:
Okay.

Doug:
And um ... he was looking for another gig.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
And um ... he ... he'd right- he'd actually done some research and read that this, this pending wine boom was gonna take off.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
He was not a wine lover.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
He, he did it from an investment standpoint.

Lindy:
Really?

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
Oh, didn't you see?

Lindy:
Oh, okay, I did, I didn't know that he from the investment, yeah.

Doug:
No, he was ... he worked for this publishing company in Chicago for 22 years.

Beth:
Yes. Yes.

Doug:
His job was long range planning. So today his job would be ... he read the tea leaves, what's coming.

Lindy:
Got it.

Doug:
Like today, for this publishing company, it's like, okay, Snapchat, we gotta get involved in this.

Beth:
Correct.

Doug:
So he kept coming across different trends.

Beth:
Aha.

Doug:
And one was technology.

Lindy:
Okay. Uh-huh.

Doug:
Reel to reel tape machines, which morphed into cellphones and technology.

Lindy:
Right, yeah, right.

Doug:
And one was the pending wine boom. So he simultaneously, he went to his bosses-

Lindy:
Got it.

Doug:
And said, "We gotta go tech." And they said, "No, we'll stick with the workbook and the reader." This is 1970-ish.

Beth:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lindy:
Oh, okay.

Doug:
Meanwhile, this wine boom, it's like, "I gotta check this out from a personal standpoint, personal investment."

Lindy:
Right.

Doug:
He came out here, and you're gonna get a kick out of this, because when did your folks buy Spottswoode?

Beth:
1972, and luckily your dad didn't.

Lindy:
1972.

Doug:
Luckily he didn't, you know that story.

Beth:
Because he looked at it.

Doug:
So he looked at it.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
And um, so he came out and looked at a bunch of properties, looked at Spottswoode, which my kids to this day, it's like, "We could've been living in that house, what's going on?"

Beth:
(Laughs)

Lindy:
(Laughs)

Doug:
"That beautiful home." And he ended, but he wanted to do something with hillside grapes so we ended up down here in Stags Leap.

Beth:
Right.

Lindy:
I thought it was because he didn't want another old house, I thought you guys had kind of an old house in the, the Chicago area?

Doug:
Oh no, it was a great house.

Lindy:
Okay.

Doug:
Great old beautiful home.

Beth:
He said he didn't want to fix up some, another, another old house.

Lindy:
Another old.

Doug:
Really? That's what he, I, that's what he had said?

Beth:
Yeah, I was having dinner with him at uh, yeah, Rodney Deans you know, maybe six months ago, and he said yeah, he just looked at it and said, "I just don't, I don't want to deal with another old house."

Doug:
What?

Lindy:
Too much work.

Beth:
Isn't that funny?

Doug:
I've never heard that one.

Beth:
Yeah. You'll have to ask.

Doug:
Here I thought it was the hillside vineyard thing.

Beth:
It could've been.

Doug:
Oh boy what do you, what do you know?

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
That's funny.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
Alright-

Lindy:
But I, I don't ... our dad didn't have a, uh, sort of a premeditated about where wine was gonna go, it was more spontaneous. It was just a lifestyle.

Doug:
Spontaneous, so it was most, mostly lifestyle.

Lindy:
Yes.

Doug:
Got it.

Lindy:
It was lifestyle, he had no thought.

Doug:
So his plan was to come up here and have a practice, medical practice.

Beth:
No.

Lindy:
No.

Doug:
No, oh!

Lindy:
He quit medicine.

Beth:
Uh-huh.

Doug:
He quit medicine. Didn't know that.

Lindy:
He quit medicine, sold his practice.

Doug:
Okay.

Lindy:
So he was a general practitioner and he sold it, and we moved up.

Doug:
Wow.

Beth:
They sold everything, they sold the house, the practice, everything. My mom said they wanted to make sure to make the, a clean cut so that there was no sort of thought that, "Well there's a fallback position if it doesn't work."

Doug:
Right, you could go back.

Lindy:
Right.

Doug:
Wow.

Lindy:
And we had just-

Beth:
Yeah.

Lindy:
... built a really nice house down there, I mean it was a ... it was quite a ... I enjoyed the lifestyle down there, being close to the beach and there was a lot of horseback riding, and I mean it was a great, it, it, you know, Rancho Santa Fe was relatively rural also.

Beth:
That's true.

Lindy:
Not in the same way as Napa.

Beth:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lindy:
But, yeah, it was. It was very nice.

Doug:
So you moved up here, how, how old are you guys when you moved up?

Lindy:
I'm the oldest of the five of us and I was 15.

Doug:
15.

Lindy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Doug:
Wow.

Lindy:
Yeah, I was ... well, I, I was sort of mortified, it was leaving the beach and leaving-

Doug:
Yeah.

Lindy:
... all of our friends, and I think the rest of the kids had a, uh, I mean Beth can speak for herself but it seemed like there, the kids were like, "Oh this could be kind of a fun adventure." But I was a little bummed.

Doug:
Yeah.

Lindy:
When we first looked in the gate at Spottswoode, it looked like the Munsters lived there, I thought, you know.

Doug:
I'm with you. I can see that.

Lindy:
Cobwebby and dark and uh, so ...

Doug:
You got the wrought iron gate.

Lindy:
Yes.

Doug:
The stone columns.

Lindy:
Right, yeah. So I was, I was a little surprised myself.

Doug:
How about you, Beth?

Beth:
I was along for the ride, I didn't even think about it. Like, I thought it was great. I loved coming up here.

Doug:
Great.

Beth:
I'm right in the middle of the five, so I have two older sisters and two younger brothers, and at the time I was probably hanging a lot more with my brothers than I was with my sisters and ... yeah, I was 11, so I hadn't hit the teenage years yet. I was ... it didn't impact me.

Doug:
Having a gas.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Beth:
I, I'm, I'm, yeah, I liked it.

Lindy:
Well I was, I had entered the teenage years, those are a little tricky.

Beth:
Exactly.

Lindy:
Just inherently, aren't they?

Doug:
Yeah, yeah.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
They're tough.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
Okay, so you landed here, so and ... it was '72, we moved out in '73, I was in ... finishing high school. So I don't remember meeting you guys when I was in high school here, I remember meeting you guys when I was, in my college years. We'd come back and ...

Lindy:
Right. I-

Doug:
Christmas time, and Christmas at your mom's house, she'd always have a Christmas party.

Lindy:
Right.

Doug:
I remember those, and then summertimes, I guess.

Lindy:
So when did we come up here and play pool? I thought that was when we were in ... when I was in high school and you were in high school.

Doug:
It might've been.

Lindy:
Okay.

Doug:
We were, we would try to, you know, because, you know, it was ... your parents, my parents, we were both new to the Valley.

Lindy:
That's right. Yeah. And I think they were trying to help us, you know, forge family friendships and kinda find a network that, of people that we liked up here.

Doug:
Right.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
Oh we, we had this great bumper pool table and ...

Lindy:
(Laughs)

Doug:
I don't know, I mean it was like, what's bumper pool?

Lindy:
I had forgotten, I-

Doug:
I remember everybody was like, "What a strange game." It's really-

Lindy:
Yeah, bumper pool's cool, I barely remembered it, it was fun.

Doug:
It's a cool game.

Lindy:
Yes.

Doug:
It's still up there.

Beth:
Really.

Doug:
I should get it, I should grab that table.

Lindy:
Oh my god, you should.

Beth:
Yeah.

Lindy:
You should.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
Fun game.

Beth:
Yes.

Lindy:
Yeah I- yeah.

Doug:
So we used to do that, and then um ...

Lindy:
Well we didn't see each other, I think you're a teeny bit uh, ahead of me in age but I started out at St. Helena High for all of three days, and I was very shy and uh, wasn't happy about it at all, so I, I, my parents said, well we'll, you can try Justin-Siena in Napa.

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lindy:
And so uh, down there I went and was introduced to a couple of nuns who were running the school and uh, I didn't like that either, but Mom and Dad said, "Well, that, you know, this, these are your options."

Doug:
Those are your two choices.

Beth:
Right.

Lindy:
So I ended up in, at Justin and commuted down there with, uh, Heidi Peterson Barrett.

Doug:
Okay.

Lindy:
Was one of the people in my little carpool group.

Doug:
Right.

Lindy:
So ... so we didn't overlap, and then Beth can- she-

Doug:
Now what about my little brother, Brad? Did you guys know, you probably knew Brad.

Beth:
I think Kelly, our ... the sister between us had a crush on Brad.

Doug:
Oh the ... I think they kinda went, they had a thing.

Beth:
I think there was, there was a little crush there, I think.

Doug:
It was a thing, okay.

Beth:
Yeah. Brad played tennis, yeah.

Doug:
Okay. Well I'm glad the-

Beth:
I think he had good legs. Just a memory.

Doug:
Oh man, I'm glad the Novaks and Shafers hooked up one way or the other (laughs).

Lindy:
(Laughs) Yeah there, I think there might have been a few crushes, and even with, maybe with the Chappellet family too. You know, the, the, we spent time with them and I might have had a crush on Cyril.

Doug:
Yeah.

Beth:
You might wanna cut that out of the interview (laughs).

Doug:
No, no, Cyril will-

Beth:
No, Cyril, Cyril will love that. Don't do that.

Lindy:
Right (laughs).

Doug:
Cyril and I, you know, we played basketball together in high school.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
That was fun.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
And then there were the uh, the famous Mondavi concerts in the summer.

Lindy:
There were.

Doug:
Which, which were fun.

Beth:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

Doug:
We all used to get together and picnic.

Beth:
Yes. Yes.

Doug:
In the hot sun for three hours before the music came on.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
Yeah.

Lindy:
Yes, and fireworks and uh, uh yeah there was certain uh, certain people had maybe a little too much fun there (laughs).

Doug:
Oh, we all did.

Lindy:
Yeah, it was great though.

Doug:
Including you.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
And me.

Lindy:
That's right. Yeah.

Beth:
Exactly.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
So good times, so um ... And then, you guys had a, huh, you had a rough one. You know, your dad.

Lindy:
Right.

Doug:
That was tough.

Beth:
Yep.

Doug:
So that was ... he was, how old was he?

Beth:
44.

Doug:
44.

Beth:
So yeah, five years after we ... not quite five years after we moved here, but yeah, he died of a heart attack unexpectedly.

Doug:
Wow.

Beth:
So he was uh ... he had something called cardiac arrhythmia which we didn't really know, I mean doctors are ... there's a lot of interesting things about doctors and hopefully I don't offend anybody who's a doctor who might be listening, but doctors, A: don't necessarily plan, I mean, we were talking about how your dad really mapped out his move here. Our dad just was like, I think doctors just think, "If I want to make it happen I'll just make it happen somehow and I'll figure out a way." Right? So move up here, buy this ... you know, sold everything down south.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
Buy this property, five children, replanting vineyard, fixing up the house. Buying things with Ray Duncan, you know, just this and that, racing in the Baja 1000 and 500 races, I mean, just doing it all. So it's like, well you're spending a lot of money, but you're earning zero.

Doug:
(Laughs)

Beth:
So ... so Dad, we had, my mom's side of the family had a financial advisor who said, "You know Jack, you've gotta go back to work." And our dad promptly fired him and then went back to work as a doctor, so-

Lindy:
(Laughs)

Doug:
I didn't know that, okay.

Beth:
He was an ER doctor for just a few years up here.

Doug:
Yeah.

Beth:
In '76, maybe late '75, for sure '76, and then part of '77.

Lindy:
At St. Helena Hospital.

Beth:
At St. Helena hospital, thank you. And then um, because I was home, I was home doing homework upstairs, but he was out playing tennis with Tony Holzhauer.

Doug:
Right, right.

Beth:
Also a man that you know, a family friend. And he got um, an emergency phone call, or an emergency beep. You know, and in those days there were no cellphones, he went in and-

Doug:
Just beepers, right.

Beth:
... took the fa- uh, you know, called the hospital from the kitchen and came back out to tell Tony that he had to take off and go to this emergency. And at that point in time, he sort of grabbed his chest apparently and said, "Oh no, not me," and fell.

Doug:
Oh man.

Beth:
And uh ... it was a massive heart attack that he had, and Tony did everything he could to try to resuscitate him and couldn't.

Doug:
Wow.

Beth:
So ambulance came, uh, took him up to the ER and uh, that was in October, uh, of '77. Uh, took him up to the, to the hospital, and then he ultimately ... he had been without oxygen for nine minutes.

Doug:
Yeah.

Beth:
So uh, he was brain dead.

Doug:
He was gone.

Beth:
Uh, and so he did live for a while, he was on life support and things, and then thankfully our mom made the choice to take him off, which was the only-

Doug:
Yeah.

Beth:
Yeah, moral choice to make.

Lindy:
Alternative.

Beth:
And uh, and then he died on November 14th, so about three weeks after his heart attack.

Doug:
Oh you guys, that's tough. That's-

Beth:
So it was hard.

Doug:
You're in high school?

Beth:
Yes. I was in high school.

Lindy:
Yeah, and I had gone off to college, I was at UCLA, but-

Doug:
You, you went off to college.

Lindy:
Uh, and I had come home, um, uh, maybe three weeks before he passed away and he had all this apparatus all over his chest, so.

Doug:
Yeah.

Beth:
Oh you remember that too.

Lindy:
Yeah, so I asked to, I asked uh, "What are you doing? Are you alright?" And he said, "Well I've got a condition, could be serious." And I thought, "That's a little odd," and then I went back to school.

Doug:
Huh.

Lindy:
And was at my aunt's house in uh, West LA, and got the phone call that he had passed away.

Doug:
I have a, I have a faint memory of him.

Lindy:
Yeah, yeah.

Doug:
And what I remember, what you guys need to know, my faint is- because it's faint, but I was thinking about you guys last night.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
And reading, you know, reading up on history. And I remember a really good looking, vivacious, ath- great athlete.

Lindy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Doug:
Like, larger than life type of person.

Lindy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, he was, I would agree.

Doug:
But he was just, I only met him a handful of times.

Lindy:
Yep.

Doug:
But the guy was like a presence, he was like ...

Beth:
Yeah. He had charisma, he did.

Doug:
Yeah.

Lindy:
He did have the-

Beth:
Yeah.

Lindy:
He definitely did.

Doug:
A ton of charisma.

Beth:
Yeah.

Lindy:
Yeah, but he reminded a little bit of Ernest Hemingway, uh, just-

Doug:
Hm.

Lindy:
You know, very masculine guy and uh, not afraid to take risks, I mean, maybe, maybe to the point where sometimes that drove Mom a little crazy and ... as Beth said, off doing these, you know, Baja races and he bought a car dealership in Montana.

Doug:
(Laughs).

Lindy:
Just did these things that were, you know-

Beth:
They were not, not very, not very smart yeah, it's always like, thank god he was uh, not a business man.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
Okay, so ...

Beth:
He wouldn't have ever made the move, yeah.

Doug:
But speaking of your mom. So here she is, husband's gone, five kids.

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
Living on this big, beautiful estate. Vineyards. What'd she do?

Beth:
So I mean, she ... thankf- she took stock, I mean, she had, and, and, I mean, she was the same age, um ... you know, she had already fallen in love with the area, she had made good friends.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
And what she recognized, and I only know this because I was still there, is that she had a livelihood, you know? She had, they had replanted the vineyard after we moved there so we'd removed the grapes that I mentioned earlier and we had planted ... It's a 45 acre estate.

Doug:
Got it.

Beth:
Total, of which 40 is planted, and we had about nine acres each of sauvignon blanc and zinfandel, and about 20 acres of cabernet.

Doug:
Okay.

Beth:
Which ultimately you guys started to buy some of.

Doug:
Right, right.

Beth:
And so she realized that she had a livelihood and she wanted to stay up in ... up in St. Helena and keep us there, I mean the three of us that were still there.

Lindy:
But she did toy with the idea of ... it was my understanding she toyed with the idea of moving back to Los Angeles.

Doug:
Did she. Yeah.

Lindy:
Where her family was from initially because it was-

Doug:
Well it's a lot.

Lindy:
The whole thing was such a shock.

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lindy:
Yeah.

Beth:
Yeah, it was a lot and there was a lot of debt. I mean, Dad had left, you know, debt, and there was a property that we had bought down the street.

Doug:
(Laughs)

Beth:
And my mom, I mean, our mom really had to consolidate stuff.

Doug:
Yeah.

Beth:
You know, and luckily our uncle Carl helped her out and bought this one property that, from her and sort of ... did-

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
You know, did some things to help her out because she really had to get things organized in order to be able to stay here. So she decided to, and then I think that the one ... I, the one thing that I really remember living there, that I think probably cemented her resolve, which I think was already there, but probably actually just made it really happen is that I remember a realtor walked up the front stairs and came to the front door and knocked on the door, and said, "Oh, hi Mrs. Novak. You know, we understand you may be selling." And I mean, I never ... you knew my mom.

Doug:
Oh, (laughs).

Beth:
She didn't like, lose her temper much, but she was strong, but she was-

Doug:
I bet that she took him down.

Beth:
She was furious.

Doug:
Oh.

Beth:
She said, "Get off my porch. Just because I am left a widow here, I am, that does not mean I'm selling, and if it had been the other way around and, and my husband, you know, I had died and my husband was here you wouldn't be up here asking him if he was gonna sell."

Doug:
Oh I can see her, I can see her lighting him up.

Beth:
"So just get off my porch." She was, she was furious. So I think, and I think probably that that um, experience really helped her like, just, "I am not, I'm not going anywhere. I'm, I'm going to make this work. I don't want people thinking that I can't."

Doug:
Lock it in.

Beth:
Yep.

Lindy:
We had just started selling fruit to, uh, Charlie Wagner, hadn't we? Mom and Dad together?

Beth:
They may have sold some to Caymus to Robert Mondavi had bought some of the Napa Gamay.

Doug:
Right.

Lindy:
Yep.

Beth:
To, you know, the old days of um ... God, of St. Clement? With, yep, yep.

Doug:
Oh yeah, St. Clement.

Beth:
And uh, and then, and then Frog's Leap even, I think, I think we sort of got John, and at that time Julian into the zinfandel business because they were buying sauvignon blanc and cab from us, and we were like, "We need you to buy our zinfandel too."

Doug:
(Laughs)

Beth:
So they did. We may have had something to do with that, I'd have to ask John.

Doug:
I think you probably did.

Beth:
We may have.

Doug:
And we were buying cab, I was trying to-

Lindy:
Exactly.

Doug:
I was too lazy I can't find my old files, but I'm not sure what years, but it had to be in the mid to late 80s, I think it was uh, four or five years ... you were-

Beth:
I, I think it might have been late 70s.

Doug:
Could've been.

Beth:
I think, I think you started buying in '78 or '79?

Doug:
Well '78 we didn't purchase anything.

Beth:
Okay

Doug:
Maybe '79. Yeah.

Beth:
'79 or '80? Because I think-

Doug:
It the, it was a string of years.

Beth:
There were, and you and your ... and, if you were here then, when did you start here?

Doug:
I started in '83.

Beth:
Okay, because, so you -

Doug:
But our pre- we had another guy, Nico Shalck was here for a couple years, do you remember meeting him?

Beth:
I don't, but I wasn't at Spottswoode then.

Doug:
Got it.

Beth:
I was still in college.

Doug:
You were still in college.

Beth:
So ... I think though, I mean, and the story I always tell when I talk about how we got started is both you, your family and um, the Duckhorn family-

Doug:
Duckhorns would purchase, right.

Lindy:
... were buying our fruit and really, really encouraged Mom to, to make wine, and ... because you felt like the fruit had something special and you had recognized their shared dream, you know, of, of doing that, so that's my, that's my recollection. I think you buying.

Doug:
I think Dad, yeah, I think Dad and Dan probably talked to your mom at that point.

Lindy:
I think so too.

Beth:
Doug was it, was there any vineyard here when you moved here? Or did you plant it all?

Doug:
Yeah, it was um ...

Beth:
Okay.

Doug:
30 acres of 60 year old vines.

Beth:
Wow.

Doug:
Same type of thing, chenin blanc,

Beth:
Yep.

Doug:
Carignane.

Beth:
Oh, okay.

Doug:
Petite Sirah, zinfandel.

Beth:
Who had planted it?

Doug:
Uh, Batista Scanzi in 1922.

Lindy:
Wow. Okay. Yeah.

Doug:
There you go.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Beth:
That's cool.

Doug:
So same deal.

Lindy:
Yep.

Beth:
So 22 acres planted, but how many do you have now?

Doug:
It was uh ... was it 22 and then it was third- no it was um, 30-ish, about 30, 32.

Beth:
Okay.

Doug:
And now we've got 55.

Beth:
Okay.

Doug:
That's, that's all we've got.

Beth:
Okay.

Doug:
On this, on this ranch.

Beth:
Such a great property here.

Lindy:
Yeah. Yeah, it is a beautiful place.

Beth:
It is pretty over here.

Doug:
Thanks. Well, I do remember, so ... we might have been purchasing grapes from you guys before I came on board, but then I came on board and so my deal at the time was ... whenever we're picking grapes somewhere, whether it's our property or some, a grower's.

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
I need to get there that morning to make sure they're using the right size gondola, to make sure they're picking the right rows.

Beth:
Exactly.

Doug:
I think, this came from having mistakes happen.

Lindy:
(Laughs).

Beth:
Absolutely. You have to do that. No, that totally makes sense.

Doug:
And so- but this is before cellphones, you know.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
And Elias is trying ... you know, so I'm in my car running all over the Valley.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
Because he ... and it was like, vital, you had to get to everything and every day at, at the start. So I'd always, on picking Spottswoode days, I'd always pull in, I'd just pull right in the driveway right at the main house. I was early and the kitchen light was on and your mom's in there.

And she saw me pull up, she goes, "Come on, Doug, come on in." So I'd, I'd, I would, I got ... you've heard this story.

Beth:
Yeah, I love this story, it's a great one, I'd like to hear it again.

Doug:
I'll tell it again, I would, she'd invite me into her kitchen, you know, I'd have a cup of coffee with her.

Beth:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Doug:
And we would just be chatting.

Beth:
Yep.

Doug:
You know, "How's it looking?" "Oh, the weather looks great, the fruit looks good. It's a little light, it's a little heavy, I think we're nailing it ... bla da da da." I mean, just, you know, how are the kids? How's, you know.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
How's the baby? Just ...

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
Just the most normal kind of ...

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
And she was puttering around the kitchen, getting things going.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
And then, I'd be there for like, ten, fifteen minutes, and it's like, you know, the guys are starting to pick, "Gotta run. See you, thanks for the coffee."

Beth:
Yeah.

Lindy:
Yep.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
It happened time after time.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
Just like, that's, that's your mom to me.

Beth:
Exactly.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Beth:
Yeah, she was a great one.

Doug:
I mean it was ... I'll never forget it.

Lindy:
And coffee was very important to her (laughs).

Beth:
Oh yes.

Doug:
Oh yeah, all of us.

Beth:
Yeah (laughs).

Lindy:
Exactly.

Beth:
Yeah, what would we do without that?

Doug:
So she's growing grapes, selling grapes. Um, making a go at it. So how did ... whose idea was it to start making wine? Well Dad and Duckhorn and a few other people convinced her.

Beth:
Kind of, kinda encouraged her and then, and then ultimately-

Doug:
And she went for it.

Beth:
And, and Tony Soter was uh, I guess in the inter- interviewing and I don't know how many people she spoke with but uh, Tony was um ... interested in uh, in it, he had been out, he was up at Chappellet, he was living there, had been making wines there.

Doug:
Right, right.

Beth:
Uh, wanted to start his own brand, which was called Etude and uh ... which he also started in 1982, and that was our first vintage, a cabernet, and I guess Mom, Mom, in interviewing him liked him and, and brought him on board. And we actually crushed our first harvest at Hafner and ...

Doug:
At Hafner Vineyards up in Healdsburg.

Beth:
Yes, yeah.

Doug:
That's, because I was gonna ask you where you crushed.

Beth:
Yep. First year at Hafner.

Doug:
That's a long drive, that's a 45 minute drive.

Beth:
That is a long drive. And Tony did his pinot up there too, so you probably know, is it Park, right?

Doug:
It's Park Hafner.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
Who I met ... (laughs) you're gonna love this one.

Beth:
(Laughs)

Doug:
I've, you know, to all our folks out there, if it's too much, you know, history.

Beth:
Too much information, right.

Doug:
Too much information it's, it's the way it's gonna be.

Beth:
(Laughs)

Doug:
Park Hafner, Hafner Vineyards up in Healdsburg.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
I'm at UC Davis, freshman year, Chem 1A, my first chemistry class, I'm in the lab, and I'm sitting across this table from this guy, and you know, we're, you know, freshmen in college. "Hi, I'm Doug Shafer." "Hi, I'm Park Hafner." You know, "Where you from?" "Well I'm Healdsburg, my dad's got a vineyard." "Well Napa, my dad's got a vineyard." That's when I first met Park.

Lindy:
Oh that's great.

Doug:
I know.

Lindy:
That's great.

Beth:
Does Hafner still exist?

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
Oh yeah.

Beth:
Okay.

Lindy:
I just ran into him up in ...

Doug:
They do a great job.

Beth:
Okay.

Doug:
So um, yeah, Park's a pal.

Beth:
That's nice to hear.

Doug:
That's funny.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Beth:
Yep.

Lindy:
Yeah, so Tony's, Tony uh ...

Doug:
Tony started in '82.

Lindy:
Yep, and so uh ... and then uh, Mom started chatting with Beth about uh, coming up and uh, helping her. And ...

Beth:
Yeah, that wasn't, that wasn't until 1987, so ...

Doug:
Yeah but ... well no this was ...

Lindy:
Oh that was later.

Beth:
Yeah.

Lindy:
I'm sorry.

Doug:
Well let's roll this, well where were, Lindy where were you? Because you were in ... you went to college where?

Lindy:
I did, I went to UCLA for two years.

Doug:
Got it.

Lindy:
And I, uh, the quarter that uh, Dad passed away, I had set in motion plan to transfer to Cal.

Doug:
Okay.

Lindy:
Uh, with another friend of mine from Santa Barbara, so I ended up at Cal.

Doug:
Got it.

Lindy:
And I was a geography major, I, I thought maybe I would go into some kind of environmental planning.

Doug:
Okay.

Lindy:
I wasn't really sure. And then, uh, when I graduated, um, uh, I had a, uh, sort of a subsidiary interest in fashion and a close friend of ours knew Phil Schlein who ended up making wine up here, and he was then-

Doug:
Okay.

Lindy:
... the president of Macy's California, and she set up an interview for me at his house in Pacific Heights with he and his wife.

Doug:
Oh neat.

Lindy:
And uh, he was a really dynamic guy, this was in the years when uh, retail, uh, was um, uh, the stores were beautiful and Macy's was very high end and so I-

Doug:
Right.

Lindy:
I-

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
It was way before online things.

Lindy:
That's right. That's right. So I ended up, uh, working for Macy's in the City and uh, was with them for about four years and then uh, decided that I wasn't really fond of the retail work schedule.

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lindy:
And uh, wasn't really a, a great fit for uh, corporate life. So I uh, left and um, hooked up with a really nice guy, he became my boss and I sold clothing, so we worked in the Apparel Mart at 821 Market Street in San Francisco.

Doug:
Wow.

Lindy:
And uh, I was-

Beth:
You sold swimwear.

Lindy:
I did, I ended up selling swimwear and uh, that was fun. We had a lot of uh-

Beth:
Yes.

Lindy:
... fashion shows trying on swimwear.

Beth:
Fashion shows.

Lindy:
And ... uh-huh.

Doug:
The sisters getting together, trying on suits.

Lindy:
(Laughs) yep, and trying on the swimwear, rather. Or-

Doug:
There you go.

Lindy:
It was fun.

Doug:
Okay.

Lindy:
Yeah. So I covered Northern California, Oregon and Washington.

Doug:
Wow.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
So.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Beth:
And you got to go to Lolo's Large and Lovely in Lake County.

Lindy:
Oh god, you're gonna tell that story?

Beth:
To sell bathing suits. That's a pretty good one.

Lindy:
I sold to a variety of establishments, and one of them was uh, was a trailer in uh, in Lake County.

Doug:
(Laughs) Thanks man, I love it.

Lindy:
And uh-

Doug:
A trailer in Lake County?

Lindy:
A trailer in Lake County.

Doug:
Okay.

Lindy:
And I do believe she ended up buying some, some swimwear.

Beth:
Lolo's Large and Lovely, wasn't it?

Lindy:
(Laughs) I think it was. Yeah.

Doug:
Well ... well look at, because we'll, we'll talk a little later about what you do now for Spottswoode.

Lindy:
Okay. Yeah, yeah.

Doug:
But what a great education for selling wine.

Lindy:
Exactly.

Beth:
That's right.

Doug:
I mean, look, we all, the three of us.

Beth:
That's right.

Doug:
We've all sold wine, and you name it, we've sold it there.

Lindy:
Yeah. We, we have.

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
(Laughs)

Beth:
We have (laughs).

Doug:
Well that's like me, my training was teaching junior high school.

Beth:
Yeah, right.

Doug:
That's why I can handle any, any type of ...

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
... crowd, any time.

Beth:
Right.

Lindy:
And I, I, I've listened to, I think all of your podcasts as I've said, and sort of, sort of gleaned some additional, you know, knowledge about how you c-came back to the winery, but why- did you leave teaching because your dad wanted your help? Why did you leave teaching? Was it a burnout? Or ...

Doug:
Oh. No, no, no, I um, I left teaching ... I did it for two years, um ...

Lindy:
Were you in the Central Valley?

Doug:
No, I was in Tucson, Arizona.

Lindy:
Tucson. Ah, okay.

Beth:
Yep.

Lindy:
Okay.

Doug:
You guys didn't know that.

Beth:
No, I'd forgotten that.

Doug:
Uh, but no, I left teaching because ... well, you know, Lindy, chats we've had about young and, you know, idealistic.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
That was me.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
And I thought I was gonna be able to change the world through education.

Lindy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Doug:
And within two years of teaching, it's like, "Oh man." You know, the kids are like, third on the list. It's the parents, it's the board of education.

Beth:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lindy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative), yes.

Doug:
So I was very frustrated.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
From a very, um-

Lindy:
That's too bad.

Doug:
... you know, altruistic view, viewpoint. And I still, you know, I, I had the degree in wine, grapes and wine, I still loved it so uh, I was home at Christmas break bef- my second year of teaching, and I actually said to Dad, I said ... you're gonna love this, I said, "I'm thinking about coming back and getting in the wine business." And he, and I quote, he said, "Well I don't have a job for you."

Lindy:
Oh my!

Beth:
(Laughs).

Doug:
Oh, oh yeah!

Lindy:
That's inviting.

Doug:
Yeah, that ... well it was fine because my retort was, and hon- very honestly said, "I don't want to work for you anyway, so no big deal."

Lindy:
(Laughs).

Doug:
So, so that was fine. So I- because had a wine maker and -

Lindy:
Right.

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
So I came back and was ... I was doing my own thing.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
With, you know ...

Lindy:
But you, you guys have always been close, you and your Dad, right? Yeah.

Doug:
Oh yeah. Well no, well that's, we have an honest relationship.

Lindy:
Yep.

Doug:
You know.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
And, and I wasn't looking for, I didn't want to work with him.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
You know, even, and the fact that we've ended up working for close to 40 years together is pretty amazing.

Lindy:
Yeah. So-

Doug:
Because it was never, never even a thought.

Lindy:
So who did you end up working for?

Doug:
I was working at uh, Lake Spring.

Lindy:
Okay.

Doug:
It's now defunct, with Randy Mason.

Lindy:
Oh yes.

Doug:
Who also was up at Chappellet.

Lindy:
Right.

Doug:
With Tony Soter.

Lindy:
Okay, okay.

Doug:
Um, and was his uh, cellar rat slash assistant wine maker for two or three years.

Lindy:
Oh, okay.

Beth:
Lake Spring was on Spring Mountain?

Doug:
Uh, Hoffman Lane. South of Yountville.

Lindy:
Oh, south of Yountville okay, okay, gotcha.

Doug:
Yeah, yeah, that facility out there.

Beth:
Okay.

Doug:
Yeah.

Lindy:
And then how long til your dad let you come to work ?

Doug:
Um, about three years with Randy and then his winemaker had some issues and then he called me up and said, "Do you want to come do this?"

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
So I said okay, we'll give it a try.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
He actually had to talk me into it.

Lindy:
Oh, he did?

Doug:
Because I s- I said I'm, I ... (laughs) another quote, "I know enough to know I don't know how to do this yet."

Lindy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Beth:
Right, yeah.

Doug:
And he said, "Well we'll get you con- some consulting help." And by the way, I was right.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
But we figured it out.

Lindy:
And you guys brought Tony on too at a certain point, yeah.

Doug:
Yeah, I brought Tony on after three or four years,Ii brought Tony on.

Lindy:
Yeah, Tony's, Tony's amazing.

Doug:
Tony was great.

Lindy:
Yep, yeah. Yeah.

Doug:
So there you go. So you're ... you're in the world of clothing and sales, and Beth, you're ... you're in college.

Beth:
Right. So I graduated UCLA in '83 and I had lived my junior year abroad, so when I got out of, of college, I knew I wanted to, when I got done with UCLA, I knew I wanted to come to Northern California and live in the City. And I got a job with a wine brokerage actually, right out of college. I mean, I graduated and I was working the next week.

Doug:
Were you, was the wine thing, when did the wine thing kick in for you?

Beth:
I think I got interested when I was living in Europe.

Doug:
Okay.

Beth:
I mean, we were drinking an awful lot of beer because I was in Salzburg, Austria, but-

Doug:
(Laughs)

Beth:
Since I could legally drink, I've been reminded that I actually was the one that would order wine. Somehow or another this wine interest was kind of hitting me without my even really knowing it.

Doug:
Huh.

Beth:
And I, and I also had brought wine to everybody at UCLA, um, the, my friends, we used to sit on the stairs (laughs) and drink wine.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
At the end of the semester, you know? I mean, why not, there's always an excuse, so um.

Doug:
(Laughs).

Beth:
So anyway, somehow, I got out and I, I had interviewed before, I got a job with a man named Bruce McCumber who had brokerage called Bruce McCumber Wines, and it was amazing. So this was 1983.

Doug:
I remember that.

Beth:
So you think about a time, you know, we had Joseph Phelps when Joseph Phelps used to make like, 20 different wines. From late harv- you know, from]

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
But a late harvest JR to early JR to carbonic zin, to ... I mean, they made everything.

Doug:
(Laughs)

Beth:
And we had, you know, Caymus was making wines that were, right from their estate and were like-

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
You know, just really lovely. Um, uh Saintsbury Pine Ridge, I mean, Dick, you know, Dick Ward and David Graves had just started Saintsbury.

Doug:
Dick Ward.

Beth:
So it was a really interesting time to get .... we had more brands than that, but it was a great time to get into it, and then if you think about San Francisco at the time, you know, Stars had recently opened up, so you had the whole Jeremiah Tower thing going on. You know, obviously Chez Panisse had been open since the late 70s so there was a whole renaissance.

Doug:
And you're living in, you're living in the City?

Beth:
Living in the City, actually with Lindy.

Lindy:
Yeah, for a while we lived together.

Beth:
Yeah, I moved, moved in with Lindy.

Doug:
You two lived together? Wow.

Beth:
We did!

Doug:
Wow, okay.

Lindy:
We lived together. We did, we got in a little fun trouble together for a while in North Beach.

Beth:
We did!

Lindy:
And Union Street, and ...

Doug:
I think that's a reality show. We could do this.

Beth:
We could! It was, it was fun, I mean, Lindy and I have always gotten along really well.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Beth:
Which is, which is really nice, I feel very lucky for that.

Lindy:
Yeah, yeah. Vice versa.

Beth:
Yeah, moved, moved to the City and uh, and sold wine for a number of years and then ultimately met John, who's now my husband, um, when, when I was there, and we quit our jobs and spent a whole summer, like three and a half months hiking and backpacking our way through the Pacific Northwest and ...

Doug:
Ah.

Beth:
You know, Northern California, Oregon, Washington, up into Canada, back down, ultimately Wyoming and home.

Doug:
Oh I never knew that.

Beth:
And that was great, and then I came back and uh, it was like, okay I need to learn more about computers, because PCs were just coming.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
So I did some temp work. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I was doing temp work for different people and learning PC work, and then ultimately it was like, I'd like to get back in the wine business, I was trying to figure out how.

Doug:
How to do it.

Beth:
And then at that time Mom, my mom called me and said, "Hey I could," it was uh, fall of '87 and suggested that she could use some help, and John and I were living together in sin, as she liked to remind me in San Francisco.

Lindy:
(Laughs)

Doug:
Uh, my, my mom did the same thing.

Beth:
Ah, yeah, that kind of reminder thing.

Doug:
We were living in sin, yeah.

Beth:
Yeah, it's like, ouch.

Doug:
(Laughs)

Beth:
So I came up a couple days a week, for probably two weeks and literally it just turned into full time, so I came on-

Doug:
So that's '87 so ... the Spottswoode-

Beth:
'87 so we were releasing our '84

Doug:
The first Spottswoode wine was an '82 vintage which came out-

Beth:
'82, so we were releasing our third vintage.

Doug:
Got it, okay.

Beth:
And, and uh, and it was, and it was, and at that time Tony had become our vineyard manager in '85, so, and he had brought organic farming to the property then.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
And so, and so it was really just, I mean, our mom was doing all of the, I mean, she was doing payroll which she hated. She was doing all this stuff, administratively which was a hundred percent not her thing, yeah.

Doug:
She was doing everything.

Beth:
She was doing, what was it?

Lindy:
More or less everything, To- Tony was helping her.

Beth:
Handwritten invoices and ...

Lindy:
Handwritten invoices, it was hilarious.

Beth:
yeah.

Lindy:
So she was very happy to have-

Doug:
Handwritten checks, fax machines.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
Well fax machines probably weren't even, they weren't even there.

Lindy:
No, no fax machine.

Beth:
No.

Lindy:
She did want to invest in a fax machine she felt like it was a waste of money. It's like, Mom?

Doug:
I kind of remember those days. We-

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
I remember it took us a while to get one too.

Lindy:
Yeah, it's like, "Mom, we gotta make the investment." But she didn't want to do that.

Beth:
Finally got the printer.

Doug:
Do the kids, do our kids know what a fax machine is? I don't think they do.

Beth:
They probably don't.

Doug:
I should-

Lindy:
Yeah, maybe not.

Doug:
Okay.

Beth:
They may not. They may not.

Doug:
Alright, kids, if you're listening we'll, we'll chat at Christmas.

Beth:
Exactly, exactly.

Lindy:
That's right. So you guys took over the upstairs of the house, all the, the kids had vacated and ...

Doug:
Oh is it, okay.

Beth:
Yep, that's where our offices were.

Doug:
Oh, so, so, that's all, oh okay.

Beth:
So we were custom crushing outside, bringing the barrels back to Spottswoode to age.

Doug:
Okay.

Beth:
Then taking the wine back out to Sequoia Grove to bottle.

Lindy:
In the basement.

Doug:
And you used to age them in the basement, because I remember seeing down there.

Lindy:
Yep.

Beth:
Exactly.

Doug:
For some reason I was over there trying to wine with somebody, Tony.

Beth:
Probably with Tony. And yeah, everything, everything was down in the basement.

Doug:
Yeah, everything was in the basement of the house.

Beth:
Exactly. And it smelled good.

Doug:
Cool.

Beth:
And then the offices were upstairs. And so, we had everything up there and then, and then ultimately, um, our mom at first I think thought that she wouldn't mind the activity at our house, because she was alone.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
And so she was like, "Okay, this will be fine." And then she quickly realized, "No, I don't want people coming up my front stairs and looking in the window and knocking on the door and asking where Spottswoode is." So we started thinking about where are we gonna go?

Doug:
Your, your new customers, your fans.

Lindy:
That's right.

Beth:
Yeah, we kinda need, yeah, we kinda need a home, and uh ...

Doug:
(Laughs)

Beth:
And so then luckily this property across the street came on the market. We didn't actually know about it, it was Dan Duckhorn that knew about it, it was a beaut- let's see, um, beautiful old stone building which is the 19th pre-Prohibition winery in Napa County.

Doug:
Whoa. And it'd been sitting there forever vacant, it was right - It was a tool shed.

Beth:
It had been sitting there, it was just, yeah tractor equipment and it was Ken [inaudible 00:36:38] property, and, and then the old farmhouse which is now our offices. So um, Dan Duckhorn made an offer, bought it, and what he, they wanted was the vineyard land because they knew that they weren't gonna keep getting grapes from us, because we were gonna be ... we were making our own wine and-

Doug:
Yeah, making your own wine.

Beth:
Ultimately we'll be replanting because of phylloxera. So he wanted to continue to get grapes from that side, we wanted the building, so luckily we figured out a way to parcel off the front two acres and so we got the, the buildings and he got the seven and a half acres of vineyard behind and we ended up moving up there.

Lindy:
Yeah, completely refurbished the house.

Doug:
No, no, it's beautiful.

Lindy:
Yeah, it's a neat place.

Beth:
Looks like a mini-Spottswoode. They're, don't they look related?

Doug:
It's ... no it's great.

Lindy:
A little bit.

Doug:
Well what's nice is you've got all your ... you, you crush there, you press there, all your production.

Beth:
Yeah.

Lindy:
Exactly. Since '99 you know, we didn't-

Doug:
Since '99.

Lindy:
We didn't have the financial ability. We had the whole thing mapped out so that we could build the production facility. And then at the same time that we bought the property and fixed up the barrel building first and then the office building, we ... phylloxera showed up, which we had anticipated.

Doug:
I was gonna ask you about that.

Lindy:
But we took the decade of the 90s to replant our vineyard, and then once we got ahead of that, that's where our financial resources went was the vineyard. Once we were ahead of that, then we're like, okay, now it is time to build a, a facility here.

And then what pushed us hard on that too was that '98 vintage, remember how hot it was? And um-

Doug:
Oh yeah.

Beth:
(Laughs) it was a hot vintage, and, and Rosemary Cakebread who was making our wines at the time was scrambling to find space, because we were out in Napa Wine Company and we had to clear tanks and Tony Soter was nice enough to take us down to his facility and, and on Oak Knoll and let us do some more extended.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
And it was like, we can't keep doing this. So we, we had been in the planning stages, but we started um, we started construction in '98 and it was ready for the '99 harvest.

Doug:
Wow.

Beth:
Yeah, so that was nice.

Lindy:
And wasn't it one of Howard Backen's early projects?

Beth:
It was Howard Backen's first, yeah, he was, he was willing to do it for us just because he wanted to get his foot in the door for ... a wine- for building wineries.

Doug:
Oh you got, you got a Howard Backen -

Beth:
We have a Howard Backen winery, but we got it for extremely cheap.

Doug:
Congratulations. Way to go.

Beth:
Yeah, early on. Yeah.

Doug:
So ... you got done in time for the '99 harvest.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
That's great. And phylloxera was a tough one, that took us all down.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
That was ... so that was, you were taking care of that in the early, mid 90s.

Beth:
In the early 90s, basically. We started in 1990 so we had that ... Tony had come to my mom and me in, in '88 basically and said, "Look, if phylloxera is out there," and you'll remember Doug that there was so much denial about phylloxera. I mean, if you remember, even like, Opus One had just planted that whole vineyard in front of their winery on Highway 29.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
With AXR-1 stock in the late 80s. So people were kind of like, there was a sense of denial about it, but Tony was like, "I've seen it, it's out there, we're going to get it."

Doug:
It's out there.

Beth:
We're on AXR-1.

Doug:
Yeah.

Beth:
David Abreu was the one who was farming our vineyard with, with uh, Tony, because he had the equipment, so you- I mean, who knows who gave what to whom, it's just that ... it's just that ...

Doug:
Yeah.

Beth:
We were spreading it around through driving equipment in and out of different vineyards. We would've gotten it anyway, it doesn't matter, so Tony had already uh, determined and come to my mom and me and said, "Look, when we find it we need to have a plan, and the plan, I think should be-"

Doug:
Okay, fine, right.

Beth:
"... we're gonna sacrifice the sauvignon blanc acreage for cabernet."

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
So when we discovered it was out in the back acreage, you know, the part of the vineyard that, that was kind of the prime

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Beth:
And still is that acreage that you wanted to buy from too, out in the back

Doug:
(Laughs) always.

Beth:
And so that's where we found it and so we took out that, we took out the sauvignon blanc in 1990 after the '90 harvest and started replanting in '91.

Lindy:
Yeah, that was kind of a heartbreaker for Mom. She loved, she loves sauvignon blanc, she doesn't ... never was as, as much as a fan of cabernet as sauvignon blanc.

Doug:
Did you ever, did you ever replant sauvignon blanc?

Beth:
We have one acre, 1.07 acres out there. Mary's Block, it's named for her.

Doug:
Good.

Beth:
Yeah.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
Good for you.

Beth:
Yeah. That started purchasing sauvignon blanc. At that point.

Doug:
You know I ... I, you just, I just thought of something. I've got a ... this has no rhyme or reason to anything we're talking about, but I just flashed on your grapes and the six or seven years we had the Spottswoode tank here in this cellar.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
Because we, we kept everything separate.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
And let me tell you guys something, well you know it, but I'm going to tell it to you. That Spottswoode tank was always like ... ah, so good. It was really good. And, and it was-

Beth:
That's nice, thanks.

Doug:
It was good and it, and it was, what was neat was it was really different than the, the cab off this property.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
And it was different from other cabs that we purch- were purchasing at the time. But there was just this amazingly sleek, racy ...clear, clear as a bell fruit.

Beth:
Yeah, precision, yeah there's something about it.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
Precision, precision.

Beth:
Like delineation, yeah.

Lindy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Doug:
And we loved it. So I was, and it-

Beth:
Yeah. That's good to know.

Lindy:
Thank you.

Beth:
Thank you.

Doug:
And it shows today in the wines you bottle.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
But I just had a-

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
Because when you're ... when you make wine, you're in the cellar, you um ... you get really intimate with your tanks at harvest time.

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
Because you know that, you know, tank eight is the Spottswoode tank, and tank nine is, you know, upper seven, and tank thing, you know it's just-

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
And you just, you kinda know them because you're, you're tasting them two or three times each day.

Beth:
You hug them occasionally.

Doug:
Yeah, hug them, yeah.

Lindy:
(Laughs)

Beth:
Show me love.

Doug:
I mean you um, you kinda-

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
It's hard to describe.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
It's probably the one thing I miss most about not being in a real-

Beth:
Yes, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Doug:
... hands-on day to day wine maker anymore.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
But um, boy that Spottswoode tank was always great.

Lindy:
That's nice.

Beth:
Thank you for saying so.

Doug:
So, okay, so you're cranking along, what ... Lindy, when do you, when do you get involved?

Lindy:
Uh, so I was, as mentioned I was, uh, still traveling and uh, selling uh, swimwear. And uh-

Doug:
(Laughs)

Lindy:
Yeah. And it, it was fun. I mean I, I lived in, I had moved to Marin and I was, I, I got to write swimwear orders in the winter and all the shipments happened in the summer and I'd be windsurfing over the summer, so windsurfing and swimsuits all went together.

Doug:
Nice.

Lindy:
So that was fun. Uh, but I'd been selling for a number of years, and one year I was hanging up my samples and I wasn't feeling quite as enthusiastic about it, as I had in the past.

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lindy:
Um, business was changing, you- um, we sort of touched on what retail has become today, it was becoming more competitive, more uh, deal-driven and retailers were negotiating with you-

Doug:
Right.

Lindy:
... for profitability, and that part of it I didn't really think was very much fun. So um, I was hanging up samples and thinking, "Hm, I don't know, I'm not as excited about this as I once was." And so somehow you and Mom and I started chatting, and uh, Beth and Mom said, "Well why don't you just come up? You have the flexibility. Uh, you have to get off your windsurf board for a little while."

Doug:
(Laughs)

Lindy:
"But come up and, and see if you uh, you know, work, work part time at the winery and see if you have, if you feel any uh, uh, inclination toward it." And I always say it would make a lovely story if I could say, oh my god I just thought it seemed so fascinating. It, it was ... it seemed interesting, but it was gonna involve a, uh, taking a risk on my part.

Doug:
Right, right.

Lindy:
And I'm not a huge risk-taker, but I thought, well, I either keep doing what I'm doing and, or I, I take a risk, and I felt like I was close enough with mom and Beth so that if it didn't work out, we could be honest with one another.

Beth:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Doug:
Yeah, that's important.

Lindy:
And say, "It's probably not a ... it's not a fit." So I would say um, it was uh, what was, it, it was hard because didn't know very much about wine, I was still going to bars in, in the City and drinking you know, vodka.

Doug:
(Laughs)

Beth:
Keoke coffees.

Lindy:
Keoke coffees, vodka cranberries.

Doug:
There you go.

Beth:
(Laughs).

Lindy:
You know, whatever, whatever.

Doug:
[inaudible 00:43:52]

Beth:
Greyhounds.

Lindy:
Uh, that's probably the stronger the better.

Beth:
(Laughs)

Lindy:
And so uh, I didn't know much about wine.

Doug:
Right.

Lindy:
And uh, fortunately for me at that time, uh, we ended up hiring Pam Starr.

Doug:
Okay.

Lindy:
To make our wines.

Doug:
Right.

Lindy:
And so uh, you know, she's a powerhouse of energy and she's very ebullient and uh, uh, loves wine. So when we would travel together selling wine, uh, I had the sales experience from swimwear, she could talk about the wine and I could tell the family story.

Doug:
Right.

Lindy:
So it worked out very nicely.

Doug:
Right.

Lindy:
And so I kind of grew into the role and uh, started out hand- handling our California sales and then eventually um, uh, grew into taking over some out of state markets from Beth and um, uh, became uh, oh, I started, I, uh, eventually oversaw national sales. So um, it was it, it, it's been fun.

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Lindy:
I got to travel the country.

Doug:
Yeah, well you-

Lindy:
I've gotten to meet amazing people.

Beth:
Yeah, you've built great relationships with a lot of our people and that's important.

Lindy:
Thank you, well I like that part of it, I do.

Doug:
Well I remember one trip, and I think you were both on it.

Lindy:
Yep.

Doug:
So you were probably, you know, it was in the early stages. It was the uh, Washington DC-

Beth:
I was gonna say, the MacArthur Tasting.

Doug:
Mac- the MacArthur Tasting.

Beth:
Oh yes (laughs), yeah.

Doug:
But one night, we had a free night and our distributor, um ...

Beth:
[Bacchus 00:45:09], John [Mantis 00:45:11] yeah.

Doug:
John [Mantis 00:45:12] from the bus. And it was you guys, me, Cathy Corison.

Beth:
Tony Soter.

Doug:
Tony Soter.

Beth:
Oh god, where did we go?

Lindy:
Well Sam [Citron 00:45:19] was with us.

Doug:
We, we had the big plan was we were gonna take off at, um ... it was 5:30 or 6:00 and we were gonna hit four or five accounts.

Lindy:
That's right.

Beth:
Oh yes.

Doug:
And we were all gonna go in and like, have a course of each account with all five or six of us.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
And each, you know ... having a-

Beth:
That's right.

Doug:
... pouring our wine for the wine bar at each establishment.

Beth:
Yes, yes.

Lindy:
Oh my god.

Doug:
It was a hoot.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
Because we were just, you know, it was a road trip.

Beth:
(Laughs)

Doug:
And we were riding around, ride- just, but it was-

Beth:
(Laughs) Exactly, in DC.

Doug:
But it was only like a mile between stops.

Lindy:
Right.

Doug:
We went to um ... oh god, where did we go, um ...

Beth:
We probably went to Red Sage there, Kincaid's?

Lindy:
Yes.

Doug:
Kincai- went to Kincaid's, Red Sage.

Lindy:
Did we go to[Nora maybe?

Doug:
Nora we probably hit.

Beth:
Uh-huh, we might have gone to Nora.

Doug:
And the last stop was Michael Sternberg's ... Lindy and I couldn't remember the name.

Lindy:
The name of the steakhouse.

Doug:
The steakhouse.

Beth:
Oh.

Lindy:
Yes. I'm going to have to think about that, mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Doug:
It was on K Street or L Street. Anyway, Lindy, you know, I knew, I've known Beth forever because, you know, and then Lindy I didn't know that well, so I'm getting to know her.

Lindy:
Right.

Doug:
And so all of a sudden at one- you know, we're third or fourth stop, she says something about cookies.

Lindy:
(Laughs)

Doug:
I said, "What do you mean?" She goes, "Doesn't a cookie and a glass of milk sound really good?"

Beth:
(Laughs)

Doug:
And I was like, "Wow, I never thought about that. And you know? It does sound really good." I wasn't telling her, this is my, my mind thinking.

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
But it does sound really good because I've just been drinking wine, you know, my own wine, all day long and ... and fancy food. God, cookies and a glass of milk.

Lindy:
It sounded good.

Beth:
I think better.

Doug:
So all of a sudden, I said, yeah. I said, you know, I didn't now who this woman was, but I said-

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
"This sounds like a really good idea."

Lindy:
(Laughs)

Doug:
So, so I started jumping on that too. So the next two stops we kept asking for milk and cookies and no one had it until the last stop. We said, and boom, we each have a big glass of milk and some warm chocolate chip cookies.

Lindy:
Warm cookies.

Beth:
Oh, nothing quite like that.

Lindy:
No.

Beth:
That's good.

Doug:
So whenever Lindy and I see each other on the road-

Lindy:
It's about cookies.

Doug:
No matter where, we always have to have warm cookies.

Beth:
About warm cookies and milk, I love it.

Doug:
Warm cookies and milk.

Lindy:
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I told Doug that I've just now discovered, uh, Danny Meyer's Shake Shack frozen yogurt with caramel sauce on top, and that's a close second to those warm chocolate chip cookies, I must say.

Beth:
Oh I've not had that. But Danny Meyer knows to, how to do it.

Lindy:
He does.

Doug:
He knows how to do it.

Beth:
He does.

Lindy:
He's got the touch.

Doug:
Alright, so quickly, the Spottswoode grapes, which I talked about, and the quality of that wine from that site, um, but you've had ... talk to me, because you've had uh, a number of winemakers through the years.

Lindy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Doug:
... I would be, I, I think uh, everybody would love to hear who they were because I can't keep them all straight. They start out with Tony.

Beth:
So Tony from '82 through '91.

Doug:
Okay.

Beth:
Mia Klein sort of came to work with him in '90, because we were crushing our fruit down at, at um Robert Pepi, present day Cardinale.

Doug:
Right, right.

Beth:
So that's how they got introduced. Then Pam Starr came on board with us in '92, and Tony consulted, Tony and Mia consulted.

Doug:
Got it.

Beth:
'92 through '96, and then Rosemary Cakebread came on board with us in '97, Tony consulted for one year and then was kind of getting, moving on his way to Oregon.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
He's making great pinot up there, which I buy every year.

Doug:
Yep.

Beth:
Um, and so Rosemary Cakebread came on in '97, and then she made the wines through '05, at which time Jennifer Williams, whom she had hired as an assistant winemaker came on as a winemaker, and then ultimately in ... well January of '11, so really he finished the '10 vintage, Aaron Weinkauf who had been our assistant winemaker and vineyard manager start- took over the wine making.

Doug:
So quite a string of really good winemakers.

Beth:
Yes. Yeah.

Doug:
What's the ... because you guys run it, I mean what's your ... how do you, how do you work with different winemakers and you know, they might want this, they might want that, and they've got this great vineyard I mean, do you have to kinda like, "Here's our style and this is what we're sticking to?" Or is it a collaboration of, you know, someone's got a new idea? I mean ... because I, I, I don't have that.

Lindy:
Yeah, no, it's a, it's a, it's a- (laughs).

Doug:
I'm stuck, I'm stuck with one winemaker. I mean 35 years, I mean jeez.

Beth:
Right, which is a great thing. And I, and I went to, and I went to high school with Elias we were on track.

Doug:
And ai ai ai and on and on and on.

Beth:
We were on track team together. Um ...

Doug:
That's right. You and Elias.

Beth:
Elias and I, yeah, we were, we were in high school together. Yeah, you know, I mean, for us I think what we've always done is that any time a new winemaker has come on we go through an entire vertical of the wines.

Doug:
Okay. Smart.

Beth:
We talk about the property, we talk about what we're looking for. Uh, we're talking about always wanting to make a wine that honors the estate, and speaks to the time and place, ev- you know, each year shows its vintage and its site. And so we've spoken about that, certainly there was times, I mean, there had been changes when, when um ... I mean, with the replant of course, that caused some change.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
Because now we have different root stocks and different things going on. Um ...

Doug:
Yeah, we have the same thing.

Beth:
And then ... and then there was the time when, when people were getting, you know, when things were getting a little bit riper, and, and it was kinda like ... and that's what the press was, was uh, was-

Lindy:
Loving.

Beth:
Loving.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
And so-

Beth:
We certainly, we- we never went as far as some, but we went riper than we had been, um, probably I think 14-7 or 14-8 has been literally our highest alcohol.

Doug:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Beth:
But we've- we've brought that back, with, with Aaron, and so, and that was late nine- I would say '09 was probably our, our-

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
Sort of most open, and it's showing beautifully right now, by the way.

Lindy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Doug:
Yes.

Beth:
But it- it was probably that one where it was like wait a minute, now we're kind- are we losing what we think is Spottswoode-esque, you know? And I don't, I don't know that we were, but we, we made a conscious decision to kind of like, "Oh let's, let's pull that back."

Doug:
Well you have to. That's important.

Beth:
Exactly.

Doug:
Because your customers count on it.

Beth:
Yeah, that's right.

Doug:
And that's what- that's what we found.

Beth:
Exactly.

Doug:
That they, they, yeah, they wanna know like it's gonna be a certain style.

Beth:
That's right, exactly. Exactly. They buy Shafer because they love that style.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
And that's, and that's, and if you all of the sudden just changed it, it would be like, "Ooh, that's not what I had in mind." All right?

Lindy:
Right.

Beth:
So, yeah. So it's, it's, it's been ... we, we've been able to do that. We've been able to keep that on, on track.

Lindy:
Yeah, there's been-

Beth:
Just been fun.

Lindy:
Yeah. Nice consistency. I think people, uh, often when they taste a vertical, they try to peg, "Oh, is this where Pam left off? And this is where Rosemary started." I don't think you can really-

Doug:
I just-

Lindy:
Yeah, there might be a tiny bit of, of winemaker influence, that makes sense. But it's- there's consistency.

Doug:
That's a- that's a small percentage of people.

Lindy:
Yeah, yeah.

Doug:
Yeah. Yeah.

Lindy:
But they try.

Beth:
Exactly.

Doug:
So current lineup these days, you've got Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon-

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
Spottswoode label.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
And Spottswoode label, you've also got Sauvignon Blanc.

Beth:
Correct.

Lindy:
Yes.

Doug:
And that's it on the Spottswoode label?

Beth:
That's it on the Spottswoode label.

Doug:
And then the second label is ... is there a second label or just a different brand?

Beth:
It's a Napa Valley Cabernet, so it's Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon, and it's Napa Valley, a little bit from our estate. And then, um, and then we do purchase a bit from the outside. So that's a couple thousand cases a year literally. And then Spottswoode Cabernet, our goal every year is 4,000 cases. We hope to hit that. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we're a bit over, but we, that's where we want to be. And then about 4,000 cases of Spottswoode sauvignon blanc. We're about a 10,000 case winery. And those are real numbers. Those aren't like, those are actually what we're producing.

Doug:
I'm with you, um, you know, I've, come on you guys. (Laughter)

Beth:
I mean that because there is, there's a lot of times when people say what their production is, and you're like, "Really? Is this ..." I mean, you know, there's, there's-

Doug:
Oh, you know, you know-

Beth:
People assume that small production is better.

Doug:
I get the same thing. I run into like John Williams-

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
Great friend.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
He just like, "Yeah, right Shafer-

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
"Yeah right. You're all over the place." (Laughter) It's like, "Come on John, give me a break. You guys, look at you." I said, "No, we just, you know, we just do a lot of PR and stuff. We're talking about it."

Beth:
Exactly.

Doug:
"You know, you gotta be 80,000 cases." No we're not.

Lindy:
Yeah,.

Beth:
Right. Exactly.

Doug:
I know people like to do that.

Beth:
Yeah, people always think that we're bigger than we are just because the name has some-

Doug:
It's a nice size.

Beth:
And that would be true for you. It is a nice size.

Doug:
But you saw, but you saw, how many states are you guys in?

Beth:
Almost all. All.

Lindy:
Yeah. Except for North Dakota we just reopened Oklahoma and I think considering going back into Arkansas, is that right? And that just, that just evolved even with our small production 'cause we would have people requesting our wines and after a certain point we kind of couldn't say no.

Beth:
Yeah, we're doing a lot internationally too. So we're at about 12% and I, I see that growing to be, be 15 to 20%.

Doug:
That's great.

Beth:
We've grown that from 5%. So we feel like that international exposure and kind of having that broad distribution is, is why it's long term.

Doug:
We're on the same page on that one.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
So your biggest export markets?

Beth:
Ooh right now would be Belgium is actually really big.

Doug:
Wow.

Beth:
Hong Kong is very good.

Doug:
Hong Kong's great.

Beth:
Japan is actually a little bit bigger than, than Hong Kong. Uh, England, so, is good. So all of those markets are probably our base. Germany is also good.

Doug:
Good. We need to compare notes on-

Beth:
We do.

Doug:
Importers.

Beth:
Yes.

Doug:
'Cause you know some, you know they, they move. You know, they move-

Beth:
Yeah, exactly.

Doug:
And you've got to keep your eye open.

Beth:
Exactly.

Doug:
We'll do that. We'll do that offline. (Laughter) Um, so you two and your mom, a lot of years together. How many years together?

Lindy:
87 to 16 for me. So is that almost 40? '87, '97, '07, '17-

Doug:
What's the secret? What's the secret?

Lindy:
30 years I guess.

Doug:
How did that work for 30 years?

Beth:
I mean, for mom and me, I don't know. I mean, you know, we never, I have to say like, we never argued. We never, I don't know what the secret was. I think the secret might've been as that and Lindy can chime in, chime in on this, but she really didn't want to have control. She really wasn't ... like she was, she was happy to, to give that up, you know what I mean? So she wasn't constantly trying to hang on to something. And so overtime she, she stayed engaged to the extent that she would know what was happening financially and would take a look at the financials and we'd go over them. And that was important to her to know that it was successful. But then beyond that she was trusting, which was really nice.

Doug:
Yeah.

Beth:
She trusted us to make the right decisions and, and to have her and our best interests at heart. So I don't, I don't know. I mean, the only time I really got mad at her was when she, we had coyotes out in the vineyard and this was probably like eight years ago, and she brought in like somebody who was going to maybe try to take these coyotes out. And I just said, absolutely not. That person needs to go away. They, they're not our coyotes. They belong to, you know, this environment. And we will not, we will not, they're not ours to, to, to, to do anything about. They're not, they're not hurting us. So that was probably the only time where I just really put my foot down and said that board is not doing that here. We're not going to trap these coyotes and have them-

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
Take them somewhere. And that was, and, you know, I just, and that was really probably a function of my mom just thinking, "Well, maybe they're not good to have here. You know, we would want them here." It wasn't like, she's not a nice person. She just felt like they shouldn't be here, but honestly, we had no ... And we had more fun traveling. I mean, I took a ton of trips with mom.

Lindy:
So did I.

Beth:
Lindy did, and she was great.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
Yeah.

Lindy:
Pretty, pretty, uh, not easy going is the right word, but you know, not, uh, just, uh, really, uh, of course we're both biased. But you know, a great person, really nice. The, the Mary Novak that you drank coffee with in the kitchen sort of never, never left. And, uh, and she never really wanted the limelight either. So that left, uh, left Beth and I, you know, she never wanted to really speak at engagements.

Doug:
Right.

Lindy:
You remember how nervous she would get-

Beth:
Oh she would get terribly nervous.

Lindy:
She didn't want to get up and talk in front of groups and, um, uh, but, uh, one on one, you know, people, people loved her. They, they always used to say it like right. She'd be standing next to me, and you know, we'd be visiting with some people in the yard and people would say, "Your mother is such a treasure." You know, as if she wasn't even standing right there. I mean, people just ... I think her down to earthness, uh, you know, she was just a, a good person. A good sense of humor and-

Beth:
Yeah, yeah.

Lindy:
Good sense of adventure and um, uh, yeah. I mean, people would come by and she'd invite them out on the porch for wine. I, I hear that story everywhere I go.

Beth:
I do too. I do too.

Doug:
Yeah, she would just, she would invite anybody over. I remember that.

Lindy:
I mean, if they were out here-

Beth:
I don't think she was that nice to us.

Lindy:
I don't either. (Laughter)

Beth:
No, she was.

Lindy:
No, she was, she was. Yeah, uh, really, uh, I mean, your dad kind of reminds me of mom, you know? I, in terms of down to earthness, being a real person, uh-

Doug:
And, and always, you know, very interested in other people. What they do and how they got to where they got to.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Beth:
Right.

Doug:
It's like, tell me your story. It's kind of like what we do here.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Beth:
Yes, exactly.

Doug:
And it's really kind of neat.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
And uh, I had a similar thing with dad, Just um, just like he trusted me.

Lindy:
Yes.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
I was like, I'm thinking, you know, wow!

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
Because when you grow up with them, you know they're your parents for all those years, it's like you know, when did, when did switch from me being the kid to like-

Beth:
Right, yeah.

Doug:
A young adult, you know?

Beth:
Exactly.

Doug:
You know, I mean a trustworthy adult.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
I'm still not sure.

Beth:
Yeah, that's right.

Lindy:
That's right.

Doug:
Oh, she was a sweetheart-

Lindy:
Yeah, thanks.

Doug:
We, we lost her three years ago.

Lindy:
Yeah. Yup.

Doug:
How do you think she'd want to be remembered?

Lindy:
Do you want to start?

Beth:
Uh-

Doug:
You each got a shot. You each got a mic.

Lindy:
Yeah, right. Uh, no, you go first.

Beth:
I mean, I think she'd want to be remembered as, as, for, for who she was in her, in her heart and her soul, which was just a person who, yeah, who cared deeply about what she did. Cared, cared a lot about Spottswoode. Um, had family in her, in her mind. I mean, she was very family oriented. She loved to travel. I mean, she just, she, she, she did what she believed in. She didn't do what she thought people wanted her to do or what she thought she would do.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
She was genuine. She was authentic and true to herself.

Doug:
Pretty genuine.

Beth:
And I think, I think that's what she'd want to be remembered for.

Doug:
Yeah. Yeah.

Lindy:
Yeah, I, I would agree with that. And probably, you know, for her, a little bit for her sense of humor, for her bridge playing skills. She was an excellent-

Doug:
Oh, I didn't know that.

Lindy:
She was cagey.

Beth:
Yup, very.

Lindy:
She was a sneaky uh, competitor, you know-

Beth:
I mean, she was honest, but she, but she liked to win.

Lindy:
Yeah. Yeah, she did. So she played with, with Barbara Shafer.

Doug:
Barbara and my dad's wife-

Lindy:
and um, Diane Livingston and Betty O'shaughnessy.

Beth:
That's right.

Lindy:
And a contingent of women still come to the house-

Beth:
Monthly.

Lindy:
Uh, monthly and play bridge kind of in her honor. And there's usually also a-

Doug:
Oh, play.

Beth:
Yeah, they play in mom's house, which is nice.

Lindy:
Yeah. There's a jigsaw puzzle often on the table that she worked a, a lot of. I think that's partly how she kept herself sharp. So there, there's always a-

Beth:
Crossword puzzles.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
Well, maybe we should start a monthly thing, you know, I don't think we'll do bridge, but why don't I get the bumper-

Lindy:
We could do cookies.

Doug:
I'll get the, we'll do bumper pool and cookies.

Lindy:
I'm liking the bumper pool idea.

Doug:
I'll get the bumper pool.

Beth:
That would be awesome.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
And then we can have contest.

Beth:
Okay. Sounds good.

Doug:
We can play for cookies.

Beth:
Yeah.

Doug:
Good.

Beth:
All right.

Doug:
So, so currently what's going on? Who's ... roles, Beth, you're president?

Beth:
Yes, I run, I run the business.

Doug:
You run the business?

Beth:
Yup.

Doug:
Lindy is national sales.

Lindy:
I have been national sales and I, um, I'm uh, pulling back a little bit to become more ambassadorial. So we've hired uh, Susan Citron who, you know, Sam-

Doug:
Oh, Susan yeah.

Lindy:
To help us on the east coast.

Doug:
Yeah, she's great.

Lindy:
She's great. She lives in Pittsburgh and uh, she's very why knowledgeable and has a good business sense. And so she'd get any- anywhere in that neck of the woods in, you know, an hour and a half, which is awesome. And then Mary Pat Sullivan, who came to us from Chappellet four years ago?

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
I think it's been at least four years. Yeah.

Lindy:
She's great. And, uh, so she took over mid-western states and I was, uh, I kept six western states that I've kind of uh, turning over to her right now. And, um, I still would like to travel and be involved in, uh, some of the winery marketing. And I think that's really what I'm, I'm best at, is interacting with people out in the marketplace. I was just in Palm Desert and did a dinner with the Shin. A little group of the Shin, I was very intimated-

Beth:
Did they have

Lindy:
They were wearing all their metals, and their, their, yes, yes.

Beth:
So dorky, that's so funny. (Laughter)

Doug:
Maybe Lindy's good with that. She can, she can run with it.

Beth:
Absolutely, she took her own -

Doug:
Yeah.

Lindy:
Yeah. I want one, I want one of those. They're called ribbons and you, you accumulate-

Doug:
Oh, I see it's a, it's a contest.

Lindy:
Pins by you know, the number of events that you participate in.

Beth:
We got to get going on that.

Lindy:
Yeah. Yeah. So, um, you know, in the sales environment, you know, this from being out there in the world, has gotten more and more competitive and a lot of changes with distributors and it's a, uh, kind of a lot to keep up with. Uh, but um, so anyway, so I'm going to stay on in, in that capacity. And I mentioned to you Doug, when I saw your Red Shoulder Ranch artwork in the hallway that I just wrote a children's book.

Doug:
Oh, I didn't know.

Lindy:
I've written several children's books for fun. I don't have any children, but I love to write. And mom used to write poems and she got me started on rhyming and kind of doctor Seuss, Seuss-ish rhyming so-

Doug:
Children's book, when did you start doing this?

Lindy:
It's, it's taken a while to actually get a book into print. Probably, I probably been working on books for, I'm gonna say eight-ish years. And this particular one, one of my nieces, my brother Mike's, uh, and sister-in-law Mia's daughter Poppy is very artistic. She's, she did a, uh, a logo for the Farmer's Market St. Helena, she did the little shaft.

Doug:
Okay.

Lindy:
She did the illustrations for it. So it's a rhyming book. And uh, what's interesting, it was really fun to have it come into fruition and have printed copies of it. And you know, I've had 200 printed and sold 150 and had book signing parties. But now it, it's like in the world of wine marketing, if you really want it to become something a little larger, I'm going to have to market it. So I'm trying to decide-

Doug:
How fun.

Lindy:
What kind of commitment level I want to devote to that. And I, I'm also would like to take on some, um, little more environmental focus with the winery. You know, we have, Beth has been amazing with that organically farmed vineyard, solar panels, biodynamics. We're part of 1% for the planet, which is Yvon Chouinard's Patagonia group. And I'm very interested in the environment. I'm worried about the planet and I pick up trash in our neighborhood.

That sounds silly, but it's, I, I just would like to somehow, you know, kind of look at our donations and hone what, uh, groups are, are really important and, you know, could I go listen to some, uh, union of concerned scientists' lectures and things like that makes me feel, uh, if I could, you know, like you're going back to your school teaching, if we could do something beneficial for the planet above and beyond how we're treating the property that we're giving money to environmental charities, that would feel really good. So-

Doug:
Great to hear.

Lindy:
Yeah. Thanks.

Doug:
So I got to ask you, because we have people writing into the podcast, sending us emails. Everybody wants to know, what do you guys drink at home?

Lindy:
Oh, what do we drink at home?

Doug:
In the wine department. (Laughter) Well, actually you could open it up, I mean -

Lindy:
Milk and cookies of course. Yeah.

Doug:
Yeah, milk. Milk of course.

Beth:
Yeah, you know, I mean, we drink, we drink a lot of, a lot of different wine. I mean I love, I love wines from Spain, whether it's, whether it's [inaudible 00:13:17] or whether it's from Rioja. I like the more, I drink more, sort of unique wines from here. Maybe Massa Ken or I like, you know, the Lang & Reed. We like uh, the Cabarnet Franc is really nice. Um, I love Rosé. I mean, we drink Lorenza Rosé, you know, Mindy, Melinda Kearney line we're talking of.

Doug:
That's right. Yes, that's good wine.

Beth:
Um, and of course we, it's just trying a lot of different, a lot of different things. You know, Pi- Pinot Noir, I love those wines and uh, Jasmine Hirsch's wines. There's just a lot of great wine out there and it's just fun to taste these things and see what, what people are doing. So we drink a lot of things.

Doug:
Good. Lindy, anything special?

Lindy:
I'm probably a little less adventurous than, than Beth is, uh, but I do love Rosé. I'll drink other Sauvignon blancs, um, primarily California Sauvignon blancs. I like some foreign wines, but not, not, not quite as, I'm not quite as fond as of the earthier more sophisticated uh, flavor profile honestly.

Doug:
Fair enough.

Beth:
Not more sophisticated, but yeah, yeah.

Lindy:
A little but maybe not as fruit forward. You know, I have a sweet tooth. You go back to the chocolate chip cookies, I do. Uh, and I love Pinot Noir. Um, so in terms of a red wine, I would say that that's probably, that would probably get my vote for favorite.

Doug:
All right.

Lindy:
No particular producer.

Doug:
Good to know.

Lindy:
Yeah.

Doug:
And if people want to find Spottswoode wine, what's the best way?

Beth:
Best way, if you want to buy it directly. I mean, we do sell wine direct to consumer, so, um, we, and that is the best way to sort of guarantee getting what you want and knowing that it's coming straight from our cellar.

Doug:
Right.

Beth:
And therefore, it's in the best condition or ideally. Um, but obviously if you have a good relationship with a, you know, a strong relationship with a retailer that you, that you value, buy, buy from them. But it's, it's pretty minimally, you know, you might find it, but it's, it's going to come in and sort of go out quickly because there's not a lot of wine. So these aren't, nobody's getting large allocations.

Lindy:
Or you can go to our website, which is spottswoode.com. You can call us-

Doug:
Spottswoode.com. Phone number in the book, on the website?

Lindy:
Phone number, should, would you like us to give you the phone number on air?

Doug:
You know something?

Beth:
You just said the book, but there-

Doug:
I said the book, the telephone book. (Laughter) Someone dropped one on my driveway.

Beth:
Right and you just recycled because you don't need it and and what are you doing? A phone book?

Doug:
I was like, no, I went out just like I went out to get the paper and there was another thing, there was a telephone book and I was like, "Oh my."

Beth:
Oh my.

Lindy:
I still, I still see those in a cupboard just because-

Doug:
I was like, "Oh my." I-

Beth:
Yeah. Do you ever reference it? I just, I think it's - stop doing it, I put it right in the recycler.

Lindy:
I can't bear to put it immediately in the recycler. I put in a cupboard pretending I'm going to look at it sometimes and then don't.

Doug:
(Laughter) I think you do it the next time a new one comes in.

Lindy:
Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.

Doug:
All right. Fair enough. Well, all right, you two. Thanks for coming. It was great.

Beth:
Thanks for having us.

Lindy:
Thank you very much, that was fun.

Beth:
Appreciate it very much, it's been fun.

Doug:
Right.

Lindy:
And you were right it wasn't too nerve wracking.

Doug:
I told you.

Lindy:
Okay. Thanks.

Doug:
Piece of cake.