tom buys the 20-acre prune (french plum) orchard at the corner of new avenue and buena vista avenue in gilroy.
tom buys a cat d-4 tractor to rip out the plum orchard after the county informs him the trees are diseased.
sandy sells her business in marin and jumps into the gilroy play, currently called moller family vineyards. (tom’s last name is moller.)
tom and sandy plant the first 1,400 vines — cab, merlot, petite sirah, zinfandel — in what is now called the old vineyard.
tom and sandy get married at the winery.
son riley comes along, which is good because without him the name of the winery is SATO, which is nice, but doesn’t have quite the ring and resonance as SATORI.
the next planting (3600 vines) adds syrah and cabernet franc to the mix. this section is called the quad vineyard after the quadrilateral trellis system that is used to train and support the vines.
the current winery building goes up.
tom plays the word generator game with the names SAndy, TOm and RIley, and comes up with “satori.” later that same day, he picks up a book called the power of now by eckhart tolle and reads the following: “zen masters use the word satori to describe a flash of insight, a moment of “no mind” and total presence. although satori is not a lasting transformation, be grateful when it comes, for it gives you a “taste of enlightenment.” we are grateful!
bonded winery #15478. the harvests from now can be bottled, sold (and taxed!).
tom leaves his full-time gig and he and sandy and 3-year-old riley take the plunge into the deep end of the fermentation bin.
the upper vineyard is planted all in zinfandel. 4300 vines divided between 4 clones — deaver, foppiano, heritage, primitivo. satori now has 9300 vines planted on 15 acres.
mark galarneau of galarneau & sinn designs our swirly company logo. when sandy asks why we can’t use all the logos that mark designed instead of just one, voila!, every varietal gets its own bright color and design. bright colors and freely “moving” circular swirls become the true satori trademarks, symbolizing freedom, fun, connection.
satori sells its first bottle of 2006 vintage wine from its “wine tasting room” aka “roll up the winery garage door and lay out the bottles on a folding table. satori is open one weekend a month. steve wilson becomes our first tasting room manager.
patrick meyer builds our “outdoor tasting cabana” and satori opens every weekend of the year.
satori wins its first wine medals: gold medals for the 2007 joyous and 2007 petite sirah ha-ha, and double golds for the 2006 hallelujah cabernet sauvignon.
howard farthing takes over for steve in the tasting room. he and marvel, the dog, have a special relationship. or do they just look like they’re both from the old country?
to be continued. the journey forever unfolds.?