Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Wallace Family

At the dawn of the new millennium the world as Rob Wallace knew it changed. Lee Traynham had purchased a 900 acre ranch three years earlier in 1997 in a relatively unknown region of Southern Oregon. The land was destined to be transformed from a pear orchard to a wine producing vineyard. From 1998 to 2000 the pear trees were uprooted and the soil cultivated for a new crop. On the hillside overlooking the Rogue River, 200,000 vines were planted. They decorated the landscape of the historic Rock Point town the present day location of the Del Rio tasting room. It was Rob Wallace who Lee trusted to turn the new vines into a high quality vineyard and winery estate. Rob said yes to the new adventure in April 2000, packed up the moving vans, and headed north to prepare for the first harvest. His family joined him a few months later to settle into an exciting new life.

The Wallace family was embarking on unknown territory. Both Rob and his wife Jolee had grown up in small farming towns in Northern California and spent the first years of their marriage farming tomatoes. With their children Clayton, Jason and Fallon enrolled in the local elementary school in Gold Hill, they made connections with the community quickly. Rob and Jolee have maintained a unique and wonderful family style environment in all aspects of the vineyard. From the tasting room staff to the field crews, the people are at the heart of what makes Del Rio so great.

Today, all five of the Wallace’s have contributed to the present state of the vineyard. Rob is managing partner, deeply devoted to his crop, innovative business, and producing a high quality brand. Jolee runs the tasting room, organizing her joyful staff, facilitating events, and putting her creativity into each corner of the tasting room. Their twin boys, Jason and Clayton, now seniors in high school, have dedicated countless hours to helping out whenever possible, whether it is hauling cases to the tasting room or helping their mother facilitate events. Fallon, who is in the midst of her first year of high school, has been a bounding energy in her assistance at Del Rio. From vacuuming to boxing up UPS orders, she always has a smile on her face.

The Wallace family has dedicated the last ten years to Del Rio Vineyards and is excited to see the transformation and growth that has occurred in all aspects of the business. The vineyard is now home to fifteen grape varietals, ten wines under the Del Rio label that can be found in over ten states, and a tasting room visited by loyal customers. In addition to their devotion to the vineyard all members of the Wallace family are committed to the community. Jolee is a school board member for Central Point School District 6, Jason, Clayton and Fallon have provided many hours of community service through their participation in 4-H, and Rob has opened up Del Rio to hosting and donating to great fundraisers for local nonprofits.

The first ten years at Del Rio have been great and the Wallace family is looking forward to seeing what the next ten years hold. The future will be influenced by what makes Del Rio so unique. It is the love, care and commitment to a family oriented business, the Del Rio family.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful family. I always love seeing the faces behind what makes the winery so great. Thanks for sharing!