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About Us

Growing Premium Winegrapes
for Award Winning Wines Since 1973

From humble beginnings in 1973, in Monterey County’s Santa Lucia Highlands, we’ve become one of the most trusted and sought-after full-service vineyard management companies. Our premium winegrapes have produced award winning wines, and increased sales and profits, for our partners.

We’re farmers. We’re businesspeople. And we love what we do. By focusing on the land, the vines and our people, with an eye towards efficiency and quality, we’ve built a reputation for consistently delivering sustainably-grown premium winegrapes for renowned wineries all over the world.

Today, we manage over 3,000 acres of winegrapes. Some we tend on our own land, and we also manage winegrapes on land owned by others. Regardless of who owns the vines, we manage your vineyards as if they’re our own. Our viticultural practices will protect your investment, improve the quality of your fruit, and provide the highest quality winegrapes.

Founders

Where It All Began

Rich and Claudia Smith | Founders

Rich & Claudia Smith

Rich Smith has always been a visionary entrepreneur—the type of guy who wasn’t afraid to work hard, take risks, and get his hands dirty. In the 1970s, he left a secure agricultural technician lab job, moved the family from Campbell to Soledad, and started Valley Farm Management.

Rich sensed long term opportunities in Monterey County, and he was right. As his vineyard farming business began to flourish, he added a custom harvesting operation in 1977. In 1987 he purchased his own 350-acre vineyard—which was our estate vineyard. In 1989 our first wines—a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay—were crushed and bottled under the Paraiso label.

Rich and his wife Claudia’s small family business has grown into a major enterprise that manages over 3,000 acres of vineyards. But their personal drive and hard-working ethic remain at the core of everything we do.

Family

Three Generations Strong

Rich and Claudia Smith followed a personal passion to grow winegrapes and produce wines in Monterey County that spanned over 30 years. As their reputation for quality spread, the business grew and expanded. Today, the second generation of the Smith family, led by CEO Jason Smith, oversees a thriving viticulture business that depends as much on technology and science as it does on people growing winegrapes. And the third generation is continuing the family tradition, with Justin Murphy as the first to fill key operational roles, in winemaking and as Director of Winery Relations & Enologist.

At Valley Farm Management, “family” goes beyond bloodlines. We consider our employees, partners, and everyone in our community to be part of our family too. We have built a business based on long-term partners, instead of relying on the spot market, and we pride ourselves on transparency, community, and mutually rewarding relationships. These values have been nurtured along with our vines over the past five decades.

Jason Smith and Justin Murphy