Heritage Oak owners, Tom and Carmela Hoffman, are proud of their ancestry and their ties to a piece of land that has been in Tom’s family for five generations. This pride is seen in the quality of the grapes that are harvested from their vineyards each fall and the rich, smooth textured wines that are made from them.
Tom manages the vineyards and oversees every detail of grape productions, from winter pruning, through summer irrigation and into fall’s harvest. When the grapes ripen, he becomes the wine maker, managing the fermentation of the various small lots of fruit as they come in from the fields. He spends time creating the subtle, barrel aged blends that best reflect what each of the vineyards can produce. Tom likes talking about farming practices and wine making with visitors in the tasting room.
Carmela adds an element of finesse to the operation. Nothing is missed by her eye nor left untouched by her organizational skills. She seldom is still for long. Look for her in the tasting room greeting guests, setting out decorations or busy in the garden,. That is, if she isn’t running. Carmela, all 4 feet 11 inches of her, is a long distance runner and has completed numerous marathons. But she is never too occupied to share a friendly smile and chat with the visitors.
Their two grown children, Matthew and Robert, also share Tom and Carmela’s passion for the land. As boys, they were raised in the family farmhouse Tom’s great-grand parents built back in 1913. Matthew, the oldest, currently works for Driscoll in the Watsonville area as a member of their worldwide grower education team. Younger son, Rob, is working on his educational administration degree and is employed by the Pajaro Unified School District, also in Watsonville.
Tom’s mother, Joanne Hoffman, currently 89 years old, now lives in Stockton, California but still visits the winery on weekends where she enjoys sitting on the patio with her book and watches visitors come and go.
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