Vineyard Team Ruben Molinar and the Vineyard Team
The Occidental vineyards on Bodega Ridge demand expert attention and great skill to farm at the level required to produce world-class pinot noir. For nearly thirty years, Ruben has been the leader of a dedicated team of men and women committed to this one goal.
Ruben and I first met in 1990 in a vineyard on Sonoma Mountain. A few days later, I offered him a job and we have worked closely together ever since. Over the years, Ruben and I have developed many outstanding vineyard sites, culminating with the planting of Occidental’s pinot noir vineyards on the Bodega Headlands, which he proudly says are the crowning accomplishment of his career.
Ruben trained to be an engineer and brings his ingenuity and analytical approach to bear in solving any problem. He has fully embraced the challenge of farming Occidental’s extreme coastal sites with all the care and respect they deserve.
Longtime members of the Occidental vineyard team also include Nahum Avendano, Simeon Avendano, Antonio Sangerman, Rigoberto Merino, Roberto Vasques, Elia Padilla, Jose and Raul Martinez, Cristian and Bertin Vaca, Flavio Perez, Octavio Ruiz, and many others.
In February 2018, Ruben’s daughter Mia joined Occidental. She graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Viticulture and Enology, and currently works in both production and hospitality. She was previously at Hanzell for three years, and has also worked harvest in Australia.
Lastly, there is Salvador Preciado and his team to acknowledge, who have over the years field budded each and every rootstock that Occidental and Kistler Vineyards has ever planted. I can not imagine putting our budwood in anyone else’s hands.