Josh Jensen

Josh Jensen
Generalissimo

You can immediately tell when you meet Josh that he doesn't really follow the herd. Always decked out in bold colors and unique attire he stands out (and above) a crowd in stature. Not only does his outward appearance make you step up and take notice, but there is a quiet reverence he has that draws you in, inviting you to question, explore and dive in. Visionary is an understatement, Josh doesn't ask why or how but sees the goal in perfect clarity and walks towards it, sometimes with blatant disregard for logic. No feasibility studies or side roads just hard work to get to his goal.

Josh Jensen grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and was introduced to wine at an early age by family friend Dr. George Selleck. Josh graduated from Yale in 1966 with a degree in history and earned a masters degree in Anthropology at Oxford. A rower while at Oxford he was part of the team that defeated Cambridge in "The Boat Race" held on the Thames River in London. He earned a Guinness World Record between 1968 and 1969 as the heaviest man (212 pounds, more from height than girth) to ever row in the Oxford-Cambridge boat race.

Josh found himself living in France after his time at Oxford and continuing to explore his love of wine during visits through Bordeaux, Alsace and Champagne, but Burgundy stole his heart. He decided after two harvests in Burgundy (1970 at Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and 1971 at Domaine Dujac) that he would return to California to make wine. His passion for Viognier was piqued as he took a brief stint at Chateau Grillet for a two day harvest fling with the ultimate varietal seductress.

Calera's first vintage 1975 was with purchased grapes but over the past few decades the property has grown to include 83.6 planted acres and six single vineyard Pinot Noir sites. Calera wines are distributed in 46 states and 21 foreign countries.

Josh has three children, Silvie, Duggan and Chloe, and two grandchildren, Anska and William. In 1993 he was elected a member of the Geneva-based Academie Internationale du Vin, one of its few American members. Josh loves cycling, skiing and tennis.

Jim Ryan

Jim Ryan
Vineyard Manager

Dedicated to agriculture at Mt. Harlan since 1975, Jim tends the vines with Zelda his trusty Jack Russell Terrier at his side. Jim was born and raised in San Francisco and attended San Francisco City College before pursuing viticulture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Since 1979 Jim has been an integral part of the team, raising the original plantings and adding new ones as he also tended to his three daughters.

Mike Waller

Mike Waller
Winemaker

A Hollister native Mike grew up just ten miles from Calera. As a homebrewer he discovered a passion for fermentations, and caught the wine bug on a visit to Napa Valley. He was so serious that he attended UC Davis to study Viticulture and Enology. A first harvest at Saintsbury and a subsequent short stint at Beringer were followed by a move to the Central Coast in 2004 to work at Chalone Vineyard. He was hired at Calera in 2007, a great opportunity to make wine close to his roots.

Marta Rich

Marta Rich
National and Global Sales Manager

Marta Rich will remember you! Whether you met her at a tasting in Boston or in an airport along the way Marta is a professional people lover. She takes her job seriously and loves to connect with Calera lovers across the country bringing the fruits of Josh's labor to those who can't visit in person. Marta Rich joined Calera in the spring of 2003. She discovered wine and the European lifestyle when she and her family lived abroad. Upon returning to the United States she and her sister were allowed to taste any wine their parents were trying, including homemade wines her father made in the basement. At the University of Colorado at Boulder, Marta studied engineering, math and psychology. She worked in the computer industry before it became fashionable and left before it became passé, but her passion for wine would not be stilled. For 18 years she worked at Robert Mondavi with stints in marketing, production, and sales as their Northern California Sales Manager, gaining a wealth of education and connections in the industry. Today she is happy to represent a small portfolio of wines for a discerning market made by someone with true passion and dedication to producing a wine that exhibits a sense of place, as these ideals are her own as well. She lives in Glen Ellen, California with her winemaker husband when she isn't living out of a suitcase.

Judy Vargas

Judy Vargas
Office Manager

When Judy arrived at Calera in 1991 she thought it would be a temporary post. She started out packing wine boxes, filing and invoicing. Although at the start she couldn't even pronounce "Pinot Noir," she learned quickly and soon was in charge of all orders for the United States and abroad. She has gone from expert box packer to actually managing most of what goes on at the winery. Above all she keeps the place and its people organized which is no small task.

Dora Del Real

Dora Del Real
Wine Club and Compliance Specialist

It takes great skill to navigate the world of winery compliance, aka what we can and cannot do regarding legal shipping, labeling, export and much, much more. Amazing at what she does, Dora makes the task of sifting through legal restrictions seem effortless. She ensures that we are able to sail through without hitting any icebergs. At Calera since December of 1997, Dora also manages our Wine Club. She makes sure that members receive excellent benefits, exciting offers and works closely with Lindsay to make sure member orders are shipped and managed efficiently.

Lindsay Carreiro

Lindsay Carreiro
Customer Service and Tasting Room Host

Lindsay makes sure that all of Calera's consumer orders are packed, sent and invoiced correctly. If you visit the tasting room on a weekday she will be the one greeting you and pouring through the offerings with you. We have been lucky to have Lindsay on our team since March 2008.

Nada Sparling

Nada Sparling
Controller

Nada pays all the bills and handles payroll, as well as year-end accounting. She is also our Human Relations resource. Because of her infectious team spirit she basically helps out wherever needed. Nada has been helping us tirelessly since December 2006. Her family has been in San Benito County for six generations!

Abraham Corona

Abraham Corona
Cellar Foreman

Abraham was born in Tonaya, Mexico, a little pueblo two and half hours east of Guadalajara. As he grew up the opportunities were slim in Tonaya so he decided to seek a new life in America. After chasing a girl around for a couple of years Abe ended up in Hollister where he found work wherever he could. He started at Calera in 1986 on the bottling line. His drive and desire to learn quickly moved him up to Lead Cellar Foreman. Abe jumps at any opportunity to learn all he can. In 1997 he worked a vintage in New Zealand. After many years of going through the legal system Abe finally became a US Citizen in 2009. In his spare time he enjoys snowboarding and tending to his garden.

Back to Story

People We love what we do, and it is our pleasure to share our work, our passion, with you. Learn more about us and what we do at Calera.

"Josh Jensen has been farming pinot noir in the limestone soils of Mount Harlan since the 1970s. His deep-rooted vines now produce some of the most compelling and complex pinot noirs in the New World." – Wine & Spirits Magazine 'Top 100 Wineries'
 "Calera's fanatical commitment to traditional Burgundian methods of viticulture, enology and barrel selection yield fruit and wines of such high character that this property more than any other California property deserves to be recognized as Grand Cru." – The Underground Wine Journal
 

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