Filed under: Wine
Before you scoff at the notion that a married couple in the icy north could possibly have any real involvement in California grape growing, consider who these two are: two wildly successful entrepreneurs whose magnificent backyard garden transformations have been featured in the pages of many magazines, including Renovation Style and the cover of Better Homes & Gardens.
As we sat at their handsome dining room table, Tom told the story of how his Elk River, Minnesota school superintendent used to feed the schoolchildren with vegetables from a local peet bog, which he was allowed to help farm. "That's what brought us to this," he said, referencing a history in several industries including importing Wusthof knives, "I love digging in the dirt."
With that, we dove into chatting with the growers about the pleasures and pains of owning a vineyard over 2,000 miles away. The Shadicks poured us a glass of Deux Amis, a Shadick Vineyard '06 Zinfandel, which has a charming eucalyptus nose. Eucalyptus trees from the next property hang over the Deux Amis area of the vineyard.
Luxist: So, how do you operate a vineyard all the way from here in Minneapolis?
Patti Shadick: We have a vineyard management company that operates it for us.
Tom Shadick: So, we have no employees, which is ... (thumbs up). John Clendenon and Kathy, natives of the area in their mid-fifties, they have 85 employees. They have expertise in every end of the business, they own all the equipment, they take care of all the farm labor problems, everything.
PS: We just have to write them a good sized check.
TS (laughing): Every month we get a bill, and we send them a check.
Gallery: Shadick Vineyard