Gantz Family Vineyards' New Manager: Jim Pratt

 New vineyard manager Jim Pratt, left, with Gantz Family Vineyard owners Celeste and Clay Gantz

New vineyard manager Jim Pratt, left, with Gantz Family Vineyard owners Celeste and Clay Gantz

Gantz Family Vineyards is proud to announce our new relationship with vineyard manager Jim Pratt and his company, Cornerstone Certified Vineyard. Jim has 30 years of experience overseeing vines here in the Russian River Valley and specializes in managing small vineyards like ours.

With a degree in botany from Humboldt State University, Jim began his career in 1980 with Rich Kunde at Sonoma Grapevine, once one of the country’s largest grapevine nurseries, where he served as VP of operations until 1995. He leased his first vineyard in 1988, started his company in 1998, and now oversees 220 acres in the Russian River Valley that provide grapes for notable wineries like: Siduri, Merry Edwards, DeLoach, Gary Farrell and Kosta Browne. Seventy of those acres are owned or leased by Jim.

The average size of Jim’s vineyards are 6-8 acres, which allows Jim and his crew to provide the attention to detail and hand work that good Russian River Valley Pinot Noir demands. Jim advocates having a collaborative relationship with his vineyard owners to determine what is best for a vineyard. “We like to explain everything,” he said. “I sleep better when I have good communications with my clients.”

As vineyard manager of Gantz Family Vineyards, Jim will work with Clay and Celeste and our viticulturist, Kris Lowe, to help make decisions about the care and maintenance of our vineyard. His crew will perform the skilled labor, such as pruning the vines as discussed in last week’s blog and harvesting the fruit when it is ready.

 Jim’s crew from Cornerstone Certified Vineyard hard at work two weeks ago pruning GFV vines.

Jim’s crew from Cornerstone Certified Vineyard hard at work two weeks ago pruning GFV vines.