SHIP WHAT YOU
Thanks to the program Wine
Ships Free, guests staying at
participating Tri-Valley hotels
get the wine they want
shipped directly from participating
the extra costs of shipping
and handling. Here’s why
this deal is a no-brainer.
You’ll save money! With
Wine Ships Free, you don’t
have to worry about the
extra shipping fees. Simply
email your receipt and
proof of your hotel stay
trivalley.com, and the costs
will be reimbursed.
Take home some of the
best wine in the world from
our award-winning wineries,
Wente, Nottingham Cellars
and more. visittrivalley.
Liquid Assets / WINE
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT
FORMER PILOT RHONDA WOOD NOW PRODUCES TOP-FLIGHT VINOS.
Over the course of her first career, Rhonda Wood enjoyed sky-high views
of the Livermore Valley while serving as a pilot for US Airways. Nowadays,
she still appreciates the region. But as the head winemaker of Wood Family
Vineyards, she does so with her feet planted on the ground.
The transition began in 1991, when Wood got pregnant with the first of
her two children and took a leave of absence from the cockpit. To occupy
her time, she started brewing beer but soon decided she had a better option.
“I drank a lot more wine than beer,” Wood says. “That got me thinking,
‘Why am I making beer when I could be making wine?’ ”
Inspired by the idea, she and her husband, Michael, planted vines behind
their Fremont home. But before they’d harvested their first backyard crop,
they came across an 18-acre vineyard site for sale in Livermore—the future
location of their first winery, where the couple would also build a home.
At the time, the property was planted to merlot, but in the years since, the
Woods have added cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot to the mix, all of
which are featured in the winery’s portfolio.
In 2001, Rhonda took another leave of absence from US Airways. Five
years later, she retired from the airline to devote herself full time to her second
E L L VA - I R T T I S I V F O Y S E T R COU TOM: BOT Y; E L career. Her winemaking operation has expanded to a larger location,
D GO complete with a welcoming tasting room, and Wood’s winemaking has
I L continued to evolve. “One thing I love is that you’re always learning,” she
A C says. “But another thing is that it keeps you outside and active. In one sense,
: P TO it reminds me of being a pilot, because I’ve always got amazing views.”
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