In 2005, with soil expert Stan Kadota and vineyard manager Francisco Ramirez we created our own vineyard team. One of our main tenets is our sustainable approach. We have an uncompromising commitment to quality, supporting our farming team, and their decisions. Our choices are based on what nurtures the soil, vines and the fruit. We have been practicing these methods for over a decade.
The team uses a complex cover cropping that is full of nitrogen rich plants and legumes. These plants aid in adding biomass to the stark marine based soils. Natural minerals and oils from the Manhaden fish are applied to further nurture the soil and elevate overall plant health. The goal is to increase the cation exchange capacity of our soils. We carefully employ these methods row by row, block by block in each microclimate so the vines have access to the nutrition they need during the growing season. Our dedicated vineyard team led by Stan and Francisco continue their careful stewardship all year long.
One of six siblings, Francisco Ramirez grew up in Ruiz, Nayarit in Mexico. His initial career path followed several of his other family members working with the Pemex Oil Company before a spark of interest lured him to join one of his brothers in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1987. It was there that he began working on the Hacienda de la Vega property near Buellton cultivating flowers during the day and caring for the equestrian component of that operation at night.
During the course of his tenure in the flower industry, Francisco realized his passion and acumen for agriculture which lead him to develop and plant the Melville vineyard starting in 1997 where he met Greg. They worked hand in hand there from its very inception through the end of 2005, at which point Francisco sought a new opportunity within the appellation. Immediately recognizing the opportunity, Brewer-Clifton created our farming company completely in his capable hands along with the support of long time colleague, Enrique Gomez.
From the initial management of Mount Carmel under his supervision starting in 2006, we have now planted and control sixty acres of estate vineyards strategically situated within the most desirable pockets of the AVA.
“I have never and will never work with someone who has motivated, supported and inspired me as much as Francisco. His intellect, sensitivity, discipline and awareness are unrivaled and everything that Brewer-Clifton has accomplished is a direct result of his efforts. I am not only a better craftsman as a result of our two decades together, I am a better human being.”