President and Winemaker
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|Third generation partner and winemaker, Peter Ficklin still guides the daily winemaking at Ficklin Vineyards in the production of their highly acclaimed California Ports. Always a small family-owned operation, each step in crafting these Ports receives his personal attention. Peter received his Bachelor of Science in Enology from the University of California at Davis in 1978, and began his vocation at Ficklin as Assistant Winemaker under the tutelage of his father, David. In 1983, Peter was named Winemaker, and in 1991 became President of the family corporation. During his career at Ficklin, Peter has not only continued producing the award winning Old Vine Tinta Port from the solera started in 1948, but also revived the Vintage Port program and founding a Tawny Port solera system producing 10, 15, 20 and 25 year-old Tawny Ports, all consistently receiving national recognition. Peter has also overseen the opening of the winerys Tasting Room in 2001, as well as the development and growth of the Ficklin wine club, the PortFolio Society. As part of public relations efforts, Peter has conducted in depth educational Port seminars across the country, showcasing the quality and development of the Ficklin products. With the help of his winemaking staff, there are recent new releases from Ficklin include a series of flavored Ports, as well as dry table wines featuring the traditional Portuguese grape varieties. When not passionately involved in blending and creating fine Ports, Peter enjoys cycling and cruises the Sierra Nevada foothills in his Miata, top down, of course!|
After returning from Vietnam and being honorably discharged from the Army Steven returned to his roots on the family farm. He was so proud to be a part of a family operation that his Grandfather Walter C. Ficklin Sr., had started along with his two young sons Walter Jr. and David B. Ficklin. In fact when his grandfather and father obtained the first Portuguese vines from UC Davis they were planted the year he was born, 1944, so this made the connection even stronger.
In the early 70ís Steven and his father formed a partnership and he became involved in growing the Portuguese Varietials, Tinta Madeira, Touriga, Tinta Cao and Souzao along with raisin and table grapes. His first love has always been the grapes that were crushed in the family winery, being able to watch the process from the vine to the bottle is something he enjoys to this day. The original planting is still in production today because of the care the vines have received over the years. Steven is a huge advocate of sustainable farming, the soil and vines are his life blood. His sustainable vineyard practices include cover crops between the vine rows, integrated pest management which includes introducing beneficial bugs and placing nesting boxes in the vineyards to provide homes for owls that feed on unwanted rodents and pests, giving individual attention to each grape vine involving numerous passes through the vineyard during the growing season to remove shoots and leaves that control air and light to minimize undesirable molds and fungus, fewer equipment passes through the field to prevent soil compaction and deficit irrigation to use less water and produce a better quality grape.
Steve has made this his lifeís work, to maintain the history and heritage of these vines that produce the grapes that make Ficklin Vineyards award winning wines, he is forever committed to the stewardship of the soil, water and air.
When Steve is not out in fields he and his wife Susie enjoy traveling and spending time in their home on Del Monte Beach.
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