Jo Ann Truchard
Owner, Truchard Vineyards
In the early years, Jo Ann pulled a 5-ton gondola of grapes to wineries.
How many years have you been in the Napa Valley wine industry?
41 years as a grower, 26 years as a winery.
How did you get started in the wine business?
My husband grew up on a farm in Texas and loved to grow anything.
Name a Napa Valley vintner who has influenced you and briefly explain why.
Francis Mahoney of Carneros Creek Winery. In 1972 he helped us with rootstock, laborers and advice.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your work?
Seeing the growth of the grapevines year after year.
What are the greatest challenges?
Finding qualified workers.
Our motto at the NVV is "cultivating excellence." What does this phrase mean to you and how do you cultivate excellence at your winery?
Every day doing my job better than the day before.
What do you think makes Napa Valley unique compared to other wine regions?
Our soils and weather.
What are you doing at your winery to help preserve and enhance Napa Valley for the future?
Our second generation has joined us and we farm sustainably.
How does your winery help tell the Napa Valley story?
We emphasize farming as we have done for 41 years.
If you weren't a Napa Valley vintner, what would you be doing?
Volunteer at schools or a hospital.
If you could open a bottle of your wine and share it with any three people (living or not), who would they be?
One would be Tony’s grandfather, Jean-Marie Truchard from France, who tried to grow grapes in Texas. Another would be Tony’s father in Texas, who died before we had made wine. The third would be Tony, my husband, who had this vision of a vineyard and winery in the Napa Valley.
What advice would you offer someone trying to get into the Napa Valley wine industry?
Do it because you love it, not just to make money.
What's one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
In the early years, I would pull a 5-ton gondola full of grapes to wineries.