About Us

3 Oaks Vineyard was created by family and friends, the way it used to be long ago when families and friends helped each other to survive and achieve. 

In 2005, Steve retired from being an Army Green Beret, and we moved “back home”.  Steve’s original dream of 100 acres was cut back just slightly, after finding land here was just a “bit” more expensive than it was back east, where we had been living.  But the decision had been made, and we found this older, ranch style, 60’s era Wathen Brothers home with a great spot of land bordering Dry Creek, just outside of  Clovis.

While Vicki spent her creative energy inside the house, transforming it with paint, plaster and color, and building up her creative business, 3 Oaks Studio (www.3OaksStudio.com),  Steve worked on building the barn, expanding the original Golden Family playhouse, designing the irrigation system,  doing general cleanup and beautification on the outside, and trying to decide what to plant……
Steve thought about growing olives for oil, or pomegranates for juice, date palms for fresh market dates, and even miniature cattle.  It wasn’t until a trip to Disneyland where he stood in the middle of the Napa Valley exhibit that the final decision was made.  Who would have thought a trip to Disneyland would be the deciding factor?  23 cords of almond firewood, 3 large semi truck loads of twigs and roots later , and the land was finally cleared and ready for planting.  Steve researched wine grape varieties to determine which ones would grow in this climate, planned out the rows and spacing and got the help of an old friend, Dave Heinz, owner of California Vineyard Service to stake out the land and put in the posts and wire. It was during this time that Steve noticed the temperatures here were always about 10 degrees cooler in the evenings than just a mile west of the property.  We get a lovely breeze that comes in most evenings and it is the cooler evening temperatures that adds flavor and acid levels to the grapes, in contrast to the sun that increases the sugars.  That helped him in his decisions as to which varieties to plant.

Steve’s sister, Gayle, put the call out for helpers and 1500 vines were planted  in one morning, followed by a tri tip lunch and celebration.  And appropriately, the first bud was noticed on Mother’s Day!

Then the real work began.  By keeping the vineyard organic, weeds were hoed and hoed and hoed, until organic mulch was laid to assist in weed control.   We researched and learned about using lady bugs, praying mantis and other beneficial insects to help keep the “bad” insects away, and using organic and sustainable weed control as well as fertilizers to keep the vineyard healthy. 

Throughout the life of the vineyard, several people have been out to help out with pruning, weeding, picking, and whatever needs to be done.  Even though it is small, great care is taken to ensure the vines are healthy, the grapes have flavor and it is tended with loving care.  When Steve is home, you will probably find him out there as well in his vintner hat, going to and fro in the "farm convertible" as we call the John Deere Gator, and always ending the day with a glass of wine in hand!

We continue to learn, experiment and enjoy the fruits of the vineyard. Each season's wine seems to be better and better with more flavor and complexity.    Several wines are now aging in the bottles and continue to delight those who come to visit. 

Steve continues to keep the place running to grow the finest wine grapes around while Vicki continues to keep Steve on his toes with more beautification projects just in case he doesn't have enough to do!  We work very hard here at 3 Oaks to ensure only the best grapes go into the wine, and after long days in the vineyard, we enjoy the wine we make with friends and family, because that is what life is about – the relationships.

We share in the view that the Dry Creek Preserve (DCP) area and Clovis are truly “A Way Of Life”.  Because this land provides so much enjoyment to our family and hopefully yours, we treat the land with the utmost respect, knowing that what is done today will last into the future.   With this in mind, we manage the vineyard and grounds organically as much as possible, making 3 Oaks Vineyard a safe and healthy place to bring your families.