The story of wine can be traced back over centuries of man’s history. The story of Four Fools Winery goes back in time also—fortunately, not as long as the story of wine! Once upon a time there were four rational individuals: John Conroy, Marcia Birchim, Dana Brent, and Marc Grisham. They were young, hardworking, and didn’t pay much attention to wine (except perhaps in large jugs). John, Marcia, and Dana all worked for the same electronics company and became acquainted over time as they enjoyed their leisure activities, mostly down at the bowling alley. John, a dedicated beer enthusiast, soon fell in love with Marcia and she, noting John’s many good qualities, reciprocated his feelings. Soon they were a couple. Dana worked during the day and went to college at night. While in a Russian history class at the university, she noticed a good looking and intelligent young man who could argue both sides of an issue without a problem. They began to have extended conversations, which led to their also becoming a couple.
Eventually, Marc married Dana and they began a family. John and Marcia soon followed. With two children each, born over the next five years, life got more complex, but the couples stayed close and the children played together. Then John and Marcia moved to Northern California, settling in Pleasanton, while Marc and Dana moved out to the wilds of Temecula. Time passed, but the interest in good wine did not increase.
Time passed very quickly and it was suddenly the “Roaring 90s.” Marc and Dana relocated to Northern California also, settling in Pinole. All four children grew, were educated, and moved out to lead their own lives. What is an “empty nester” to do? We all lost our heads and became increasingly interested in wine—not just drinking it (which we do) but also in judging it, comparing it, learning how it is made, and, finally, to talking about opening a small lot urban winery in Rodeo. When we discussed what to name our wine, “Four Fools” just naturally surfaced.
John is our wine maker, with almost a decade of experience and a number of classes in wine-making under his belt. His is the genius of blending, of chemistry, of vision in the purchasing of grapes and the making of wine. The rest of us fulfill different roles. Marcia, who is now a healing touch practitioner and yoga instructor is looking forward to being involved in the North Shore Healing Center (stay tuned) and the activities surrounding that at the Rodeo Marina. Marc, a retired city manager, and Dana, a retired university professor are part owners of the Rodeo Marina and active in the community. They are learning a great deal about licensing, the wine business, and all the things that must be done to sustain Four Fools Winery. As for the children….we are hoping they will be participating as we prepare for the grand opening of our tasting rooms on October 26, 2013.