His passion for the grapevine and its cultivation met only by his passion for the United States of America, Ulises Valdez was a manifestation of the fabled American Dream — and what results from vision, determination and a good attitude.
Ulises grew up with two donkeys and no electricity in an adobe hut in a town you’ve never heard of in Southern Mexico. At eight years old, he was forced to drop out of school to support his family after his father died on the job in the United States. At ten, the small child made a solo move to Mexico City for better paying work and at twelve, he hired a man at the market to teach him how to read and write. When a friend proposed that they move to the U.S. to be better able to support their families, sixteen year-old Ulises knew he must go. Ulises somehow landed in Cloverdale, California and started work in the first place that would have him. It was a vineyard.
In the decades that followed, Ulises developed one of the finest vineyard management companies in California, overseeing over 1000 acres of grapevine renowned throughout Northern California. His tragic passing in September of 2018 marked a devastating loss for the wine community, and we remain incredibly grateful for Ulises’s matchless dedication and passion for tending vines.