Phil Schlein pays tribute to his mother Sophie who passed away at the ripe old age of 97 (pardon the pun) in 1997. While she was not able to spend too much time at the vineyard the few times there she became quite fond of its tranquility. Sophie was a role model who influenced and inspired her children and therefore her children's children. The wine Sophie's Rows is named after his mother Sophie and in turn her mother Rose.
Philip "Spike" Schlein
Phil grew up in the Philadelphia area and went to the University of Pennsylvania. He lived on the East Coast before moving to San Francisco in 1974 to become the CEO of Macy's where he remained until 1985. He left to become a venture capital partner in Menlo Park, California focusing on specialty retailing. Spike bought the property in 1976 for his family, planted the five-acre vineyard in 1990 and produced the first vintage of Emilio's Terrace in 1996. Spike brings his unique and memorable energy and zest for life to all aspects of the family winery.
Daughter Kathy Schlein splits her time between Oakville and Park City, Utah and is General Manager and head of Sales and Marketing for the family vineyard. Kathy is a University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School graduate. She held senior positions at Apple and Hasbro and currently sits on the boards of several consumer products start-ups. Kathy has two teenage children who will one day become involved with the vineyard and grow to love fine wine also.
Son Ted Schlein, also a University of Pennsylvania graduate, is a managing partner of one of the most respected and world-renown venture capital firm. While an expert on early stage technology-driven start-ups, he too has a great love of wine and the details that go into growing and producing it. Ted serves on the boards of key emerging companies. He and his wife have two teenage boys and they live in the Bay area but spend a lot of time at the vineyard.
Emilio Perez cared for these vines since they first bore fruit. For more than 30 years, Emilio tended this special place and lived at the foot of the terraced vineyard. His care, skill and wisdom secured our trust and we consider him a member of our family even naming a wine after him. 50 years ago, Emilio immigrated to the United States from his home in Mexico. In 1966, he accepted an invitation to tend the vineyards of the Robert Mondavi Winery. He earned a highly regarded reputation there and then came to us. Emilio and his team of experienced vineyard workers have played an integral role in making the Napa Valley wine industry the envy of the world.
Corey joined the Schlein Vineyard team in the Fall of 2009 as Director of Wine Making. He will be responsible for our wines from the 2010 release on. Born and raised in Calistoga, he worked in vineyards for family from the time he was very young. After earning a degree in Fermentation Science from University of California, he returned to Napa Valley to work at Chateau Montelena and then Rubicon Estate as their assistant winemaker. In 2006, Corey was made Director of Winemaking and General Manager of the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. At the Schlein Vineyard Corey will manage the vineyard plantings, care and conservation protocols and oversee all winemaking operation. His twenty years of experience coupled with his wealth of knowledge in crafting Cabernet Sauvignon will help our vineyard flourish.
In 1996, well-known Napa Valley consulting winemaker Joe Cafaro joined the family. Joe used the French word, 'terroir' to describe what he loves about Oakville and our vineyard. It refers to the particular soil, weather conditions and sun exposure where the grapes are grown. These elements have a profound effect on the final product, Cabernet Sauvignon. Joe used a combination of traditional and experimental winemaking techniques to create a wonderfully balance and consistently high quality product. He influenced the way our vineyard is growing and maturing. Joe is hands-on and walked the steeply terraced vineyards, determining how to balance the effects of nature with vineyard management techniques. He considered every detail like the amount of water and nutrients used, pruning and harvesting modifications. The 2007 vintage was Joe's last vintage with Schlein Vineyard before he decided to completely focus on his own wine label.
The Schlein Children
There are four teenage Schlein grandchildren who are already learning the ways of the land. Right now they are a bit young but the heritage and love of land and fine wine will be instilled in them as the years pass. They will be the next generation.