Four Seasons Vineyard Management: How a Passion for Farming Led To the Creation of A Sucessful Small Buisness
Article and Photo by Rachel LaFranchi
Published March 1, 2017
|Victor and Cindy Trentadue (with their Jack Russell Abbey) outside their home which looks over the Dry Creek Valley and some of the vineyards they manage.|
Victor Trentadue has been farming his entire life. He was born into a farming family which was growing cherries and apricots in San Jose. As the area faced problems related to urbanization, the family moved in 1959, choosing to resettle in the Dry Creek Valley. The Trentadues chose the Dry Creek Valley because they already had relatives living there.
In 1969, while there were still a significant amount of prunes in the county, Victor’s parents Leo and Evelyn started Trentadue Winery, now a well-known fixture off Dry Creek Road.
Victor began making wine for the family business right out of high school, but the family hired a full time winemaker in the 90’s.
In the late 80’s, Victor was reconnected with the woman he had dated for seven years in high school, Cindy. They had broken up and married other people but were later put back in touch by a mutual friend who realized they were both getting divorced. Victor and Cindy married in 1990.
Cindy said Victor has always devoted a lot of time to the family business. “When we wanted to go on date, I helped him do his work so we could go out after. When he was driving a tractor, I’d sit on the fender to spend time with him,” recalled Cindy.
In 1989, Victor and Cindy started their own business: Four Seasons Vineyard Management. Victor is still involved with the winery which is part of the family’s estate, however the businesses are separate. The Trentadue’s younger son, Tyler, works for the winery while their older son, Steven, works for the vineyard management company.
“A lot of farming families are like us,” said Cindy, “You’re immersed in the life and everyone in the family is involved in the business.”
Four Seasons Vineyard Management manages more than 700 acres of grapes, with around 100 of those owned by Trentadue Winery. They have 30 to 50 year-round employees.
Cindy said Victor had always loved to farm, and the fact that they have had many of the same customers for more than 20 years is a testament to his farming ability. Cindy said Victor has been farming since he was very young beginning with picking prunes and moving on to driving a tractor that his dad had put blocks on so he was able to reach the pedals.
Alongside Victor’s love to farm, the motivation to start their business came when they were asked by family friends who believed in their farming ability to manage their vineyards. The couple said the business has expanded from there, and they are always looking to farm more acreage.
Victor says as the business has grown and they’ve hired more support staff he and Cindy have been able to get more involved in the community. While they have always aimed to help the community, the family is looking to support the industry in any way they can and be involved.
Victor said much of the family’s land has been in the family for over 100 years and they have a lot of family ties. Their boys are the 5th generation to be involved in farming.
“We’ve both lived here our whole life,” said Cindy. “Maybe loving farming is genetic? Why would you do it if you don’t love it?”