The Hyde family has been in California since the late 1800s. Larry Hyde began Hyde Vineyards in 1979 and true to a family business, Larry’s wife and son live and work at Hyde Vineyards. The vineyard even includes the Hyde’s four-legged friends who can be found running the land, swimming in the lake or watching over the workers.
The Hyde family is dedicated to growing the finest quality grapes and understand the connection between the site and those who work it. The family works day in and day out continually looking forward to the future with the goal to further the progress of the global wine community with superior grapes that make spectacular wines.
Larry Hyde founded Hyde Vineyards in 1979. Originally comprised of 100 acres of windy pasture and fruit orchards, Larry saw a vision and became a pioneer in a region that would soon become California’s second AVA, Los Carneros, Napa Valley, the only AVA to stretch between two counties, Napa and Sonoma.
Christopher Hyde has always had a passion for land. After studying Agricultural Business and Viticulture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Farm Management, Chris worked an internship in sales at Wilson Daniels. From there, Christopher joined the Hyde Vineyards team as viticulturist and helped co-found Hyde Estate Winery with his father. In 2010, Chris went on to work at Merryvale Vineyards as a viticulturist and cellar worker before assuming the role of General Manager at Hyde Vineyards and Director of Viticulture at HdV Winery in 2012, where he continues to work closely with his father Larry.
In 2015, the latest chapter began, as Chris received his MBA in the second graduating class from Sonoma State University’s Wine-Business intensive Master’s program and the initiation of construction for the Hyde Estate Winery in Carneros started, which opened in August 2017.
In his free time, Christopher enjoys mountain biking, skiing, wine, and travel.
In 1979 Larry Hyde began planting 72 acres of what would become the Hyde Vineyard in Carneros, Napa Valley. His passion, hard work, persistence and forward thinking resulted in planting new clones of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot experimenting with row directions. All this led to his extensive collection that is still being documented today by the Foundation Plant Services at the University of California, Davis.
A family business, Larry worked under his father, Richard Sr. in developing a successful business selling fruit to various wineries in Napa. Today, Hyde Vineyard fruit is sold to over 30 different wineries across California. Among these, nearly half of them produce vineyard-designated wines every year.
The Hyde Vineyard crew is comprised of both new and old workers, some of whom have been at Hyde Vineyard for over 30 years, and worked side by side with Larry in the very beginning. Under the direction of Chris and Jose, the crew works all year round tending the vines and harvesting the fruit of their labors.
Jose was recruited by Larry in 1980 and over the years has become a viticulturist and crew manager as well as a loyal friend to the Hyde family. Before coming to Hyde Vineyards, Jose worked as a carpenter but it was short lived as Jose was hired after meeting Larry through a mutual friend, Bob Long of Long Vineyards. Jose has now managed vineyard operations for more than three decades and is an integral part to keeping the vineyard running efficiently, helping work with many highly regarded wineries and handling a great variety of fruit and expectations.
Billy Smith, a long time friend of both Peter and Chris, started in 2010 as a tractor driver during harvest time. It became quickly realized how skilled Billy was in mechanical work and in 2011, Billy became Hyde Vineyard’s fabricator, mechanic and forklift-truck driver, working full time on vineyard operations. In his free time, Billy enjoys mountain-bike riding, carpentry, building rock-crawlers and metal-fabrication.
Larry’s family has been farming in California for over 200 years. Finding inspiration in an 1840’s edition of Don Quixote, passed down through generations from ancestor Pedro Zabala and given to Larry by his great-grandfather, Larry chose a woodcut of a dancing Sancho Panza, a jovial character in the story who always had wine with him, as the symbol of Hyde Vineyards.