Kapalua Wine and Food Festival

James Ontiveros

Native 9

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After planting Rancho Ontiveros, James worked in vineyards in the Sonoma Coast and the Russian River Valley, driving home to Santa Maria on the weekends to take care of his own vineyard. It was during this time that James developed many impactful relationships in the wine industry, and began looking at wine and winemaking as a way of life rather than solely a practical use of the land. In 2003, he took his first of many trips to Burgundy, tasting in the cellars, walking the vineyards, and learning about biodynamic practices of producers like Domaine Dujac, Lucien Le Moine, Domaine Leflaive, and Domaine Romanée-Conti. He would take these lessons home with him to the Santa Maria Valley, and implement many in his own vineyards and wines.