MEET OUR PEOPLE
Kautz Farms / Grower
HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN FARMING WINEGRAPES?
I’ve been farming winegrapes for 41 years.
HOW MANY ACRES OF WINEGRAPES DO YOU FARM AND WHICH VARIETIES DO YOU GROW?
I oversee about 3,500 acres for Kautz Farms. We grow Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Symphony, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Viognier, Petite Sirah, Albariño, and Teroldego.
I FARM BECAUSE…
I have a passion for farming. I’ve always had a passion for farming. My father was a farmer; he passed away while I was in high school. After college, I started farming for John Kautz. Forty-one years later, I’m still working for John Kautz.
HOW HAS THE LODI WINE REGION CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
There’s been a lot of transition. We’ve transitioned from primarily growing Tokay and a handful of others to over 100 winegrape varieties. We’ve also transitioned from hand harvesting to mechanical harvesting and from flood irrigation to drip irrigation.
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECT OF FARMING WINEGRAPES?
Weather! From dry to wet; cold to hot; windy to still – the environment continually changes. Aside from complaining, there’s nothing a farmer can do about the weather.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PASTTIME?
Taking care of my yard, garden, and pumpkin patch.
IF YOU COULD MEET ANYONE, LIVING OR DEAD, WHO WOULD THAT BE?
Ronald Reagan. A government’s first duty is to protect its people; not run their lives. Reagan stood for this.