Finnish for, “eve”

That’s eve, as in Christmas Eve. My dad’s name, because he was born on Christmas Eve (Joulu Aatto).

My dad saw the land we purchased, and saw the initial drawings of the home we built here. He saw the initial work I was doing when we started clearing the walnut orchard to make way for our home, vineyard, olive orchard. He was to act as my supervisor during the construction of our home, while I juggled all of the other balls needed to make this dream a reality. He was as excited about this project as I was.

Unfortunately, he died just before construction started.

My dad was a dreamer, like me. I guess I got his restless DNA. He was born in Finland in 1932, was essentially orphaned by the time he was 10, jumped on a ship with one of his brothers to Canada in his early 20s, met my mom, had kids, and ultimately moved us to Southern California. The land of opportunity!

Although he realized some of that opportunity, he never quite got a hold of the reins the way he envisioned. He inspired me to realize that dream. I feel totally privileged to be here today, and because of that I give my dad a nod, an acknowledgement that I’m here because of his dreams.

Aatto is probably our most unusual, exotic wine, both aromatically and in the flavor profile. Its made up of mostly Counoise and Mourvedre, with small amounts of Grenache. Lighter in color, it has an almost Old World Pinot aromatic and flavor, laced with cinnamon and spice, and really finishes with amazing length and volume.