Season I: James Ontiveros
It’s not easy to categorize what James Ontiveros does because he does so much. First, he is a ninth-generation Californian, the descendant of the first Spanish settlers of the Santa Maria Valley. He’s also a rancher — his family owns Rancho Ontiveros in Santa Maria, and he has raised cattle all his life. But what James is probably best known for is his work in the wine industry. While he was a student at Cal Poly in the nineties, James planted a five-acre vineyard on his parents’ ranch; today, his Native9 Wine is a pioneer for Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County. How does a Santa Maria cowboy become one of the most respected wine industry figures in the U.S.? Listen as James and I discuss his roots and how he’s grown.