The Mystery man…
Every company has their unsung hero. The person behind the scenes, the one who does the dirty work, who gets the stage ready for those of us in the spotlight. While they might not be readily visible to the general public, they are crucial to a company’s operating health.
For us, it’s a guy who drives at least five different cars, including an old Chevy Biscayne. It’s a guy who has a penchant for things that go BANG, and uses this passion to implement “pest control” in the vineyard. It’s a guy who knows how to (or has me fooled anyway) fix winery equipment, tractors, cars, and most other things that have moving gears.
His name? Edwardo Ornelas. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of him on a weekday zipping around the back of the winery, moving around barrels, cleaning tanks, hanging drywall, you name it. But I tell you people, he’s an elusive one…
More importantly, Edwardo is our vineyard manager. He oversees the pruning, training, and thinning of the vines throughout the year- a hugely important factor in determining the quality of fruit coming in at harvest. He oversees the picking crews at crush and keeps a close eye on the irrigation system throughout the vineyard. And he always remembers to NOT leave his empty beer bottles in the vineyard! (Had to do it…)
In fact, Edwardo pre-dates all of us at the winery, and helped plant the estate’s original vines back in the 80’s. My favorite story is how he used to set up speakers on the top of the pump house in the vineyard, blaring the main theme from The Godfather into the block of nebbiolo vines. Now, that’s love.
His weirdly uniform/perfect penmanship. Gross.
His slick ability to switch between speaking Spanish and English at the blink of an eye, sounding better than all of us combined. Blech.
And let’s not forget about the way the women always, always ask “who was that man we saw in the vineyard”? Barf!
But the best thing about him, really, is his fantastic sense of humor. Which is why I can give him so much crap here and not worry about him implementing pest control on me. Right, buddy?
So here’s to our hero, the guy behind the curtain who makes a lot of what we do possible. The next time you come by the winery, ask if you can actually meet the guy. Like I said, he’s an elusive one, but I’m learning how to track him better now- I just follow the bullet shells!!!