Who We Are
George Cooper, Winemaker Emeritus.
Married Louise Garrod in 1941. Educated as a mining engineer, trained as a pilot in WWII, and flew the P-47 "Jug" with the 412th Fighter Squadron in the European Theater. After the war, he pursued a successful career as chief research test pilot for NASA. Wanted something fun to do after his 1973 “retirement”, so planted grapes and set about learning to make wine. Produced a private reserve enjoyed by the family for 20 years before commercial sales began in 1994. Passed away in 2016 at the age of 99, having lived quite the life.
Bill Cooper, Winemaking and Sales.
George and Louise’s eldest son; Jan’s cousin. Fulfilled his career in the Foreign Service and brought his young family back to the ranch he grew up on. Apprenticed to his Dad, took courses at Davis, and became immersed in winemaking and the nascent sustainability movement. Bill does everything from punching down the cap during crush to fine-tuning computer systems. When people from Washington call to check up on him, his wife tells them he either comes home smelling like fresh air or wine, and either way, he’s smiling.
Jan Garrod, Vineyard Master and Operations Director of Garrod Farms.
George’s nephew. Jan remembers all the family who helped set out those first Cabernet Sauvignon vines back in 1972. Pictures show his enthusiastic grape stomping in a bathtub the first harvest of 1975! He’s been along every step of the way, overseeing cultivation of vineyard land, planting, trellising, and maintaining every bit of our 5 acres of Chardonnay, 5 acres of Cabernet Franc, and 11 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, while looking ahead to eminent vineyard development. As Operations Director for the ranch, he also manages an excellent equestrian facility with 200 head of horses and the people who go with them. Not a small task.
Doris Cooper, Marketing Director.
George and Louise’s daughter-in-law; Jan’s cousin-by-marriage; Bill’s wife; Barbara’s sister-in-law. She met Bill in Warsaw, married him while he lived in Virginia, gave him two daughters while they lived in Paris, and started working for his family’s winery while pushing a double-stroller around Midtown Manhattan, a couple years before the first wine was even sold commercially. Doris writes the newsletters, pours at events, bakes biscotti for Vintners’ Festival, and tries to plug any holes she becomes aware of.
Barbara Cooper, Tasting Room Manager.
George and Louise's daughter and Bill's sister, has managed the Tasting Room since it was first opened in 1994. She grew up on the property and is frequently in the Tasting Room or can be found in the winery office. Barbara is available to answer questions about the vineyards, winery, history of the community, nearby wineries, events, and other goings-on. She frequently pours our wine at community events and is available to listen to your tasting comments.
Those are some of the family members who work for Cooper-Garrod Vineyards on a daily basis. If you are able to visit our working ranch, you’re bound to make the acquaintance of other family members who live here and keep the place what it is: the quintessential family agriculture operation it’s been since 1893.