We don't have a corporate mission statement: Just a Family Creed:
“We Live to Honor those that have come before us,
and to prepare the way for those yet to come."
who are We?
I have a real hard time answering it, to be honest with you.
I don't really know.
But, Lets take a crack at it, shall We:
We are Fathers Sons Husbands Wives Mothers Daughters Uncles Aunts Brothers Sisters Cousins. I know We love each other very much, We disagree with passion, We forget quickly, We win together, We lose together, We believe in Heaven, We under promise, We over deliver, We think that Dieter Rams is untouchable, We keep fighting until we are are told to stop, We like the black keys too much, We are each others cheerleaders, We are seldom right but always sure, We believe in freedom and personal responsibility,We like Sliders as opposed to Fastballs, We try to land more punches than we take, We pitch all 9 innings,We believe in the Golden Rule, We think the difference between a 2 dollar cigar and a 20 dollar is 18 dollars,We like to eat ice cream later at night than we should, We like to fall a sleep reading the newspaper at night in our chairs, We buy the loudest toys we can for each others kids, We Love TYPOGRAPHY, We believe that everything grows best in the farmers shadow, We keep our Grandparents things, We like noserides, We think that stitches are cool, We have OLD friends, We make a lot of fun of each other, We don't sugar coat the truth from each other, We think that good design is when you don't have to explain anything, We build our lives with our Father’s tools, We believe in the Apostles Creed, We think Grandpa was cooler than dad, and our Uncles are cooler than that, We like old Jeans and a fresh shirt, We like to laugh until we cant breathe,We wave when we change lanes, We love the smell of fresh cut grass, We like the Ax from http://www.bestmadeco.com, We wear out not rust out, We think a truck that has over 100k miles on it is broken in, We like old country and new metal, We like trailers a lot, We think Buford T Justice is the funniest thing ever, We hate to run, We like carrying all the groceries in one shot, We carry pocket knives, We wear the same belt for years, We prefer diesel to regular, We eat beef We raise, We believe your fathers dreams are your dreams, We go to barbers that use a straight razor and hot lather, We drink a lot of coffee,We have a family whistle that when you hear it you look up, We hate being indoors, We like the feel of our tools in our hands, We know our wives are too good for us, We believe our husbands have a heart of gold under all if it somewhere, We like Senior spaghetti, We are all on the same wireless carrier so all our calls are free, We like that our favorite beer is the one that is cold and on sale, We like trucks that our Dad drove. We drink our Fathers drink, We like old farmers more than Masters degrees, We know that the A student works for the B student and the college dropout probably owns the company, We expect dad to tell us we are wrong to inspire us to show him that we are not, We hire people that are smarter than us, We make our own websites, We like books but don't read much, We think - believe - DO,We think a trip to the hardware store is the first step in fixing something, We know the best friend we have is named Grandma, We know that if We win it was because of the Team, We know that if We lose it was Our fault. We think that if your name is on the sign you probably should be in the building. We think talk is cheap.We talk a lot, We shoot first ask second, We think if the sun is up so should you, We like heros, We like trusting people, We want to help people make their dreams real, We believe in Sooner rather than latter, We don't litter, We love the ocean, We love a good fire, We love sleeping outside even if that means the windows open, We drive with our windows down and elbows hanging out, We love a great practical joke, We know our demons by name, We like fresh flowers, We like simple engines, We think something is perfect when you cant take any more pieces away from it, We love burn outs, We love pulling the E-brake on rental cars, We like making roads, We like leaving a path, We like leaving the first tracks, We love long drives more than flying, We like Robin Gunningham We hate to be trapped, We forget to say sorry to those we love the most,We are into pictures more than words, We have a little voice in our head that says, “if you don't no one else will” when we look at things, We hug too hard, We hate it when people don't call back, We hate leaving for trips and coming back from them, We use paper and pen and copy machines to share information, We like to Highlight important things on paper, We like to go to the p.o. box, We don't know our atm pin number, Wethink if you work half days that means 12 hours, We think the meaning of success is “doing the right thing first”, We like the statement Today you, Tomorrow me, when We lend a hand, We carry jumper cables, We break things, We think if you take care of your pennies your dollars will take care of themselves, We like driving early on weekend mornings, We like dogs, We don't like to have our kindness be mistaken for weakness, We let each other rant and get it all out, We like having a few Big bills in our pocket and hate breaking them, We know why the sun comes up every day but like the way the looks more, We like to be amazed by a good magic trick, We don't know how to play a instrument but We love music, We would rather run into a fight than away from one, We forgive others quickly but never ourselves, We like to give toasts, We like to drive your car faster than you ever have, We know that the wisdom your elders share with you is just because they made the mistake your going to make First, We think respect is more important than any title,We think John Wooden was right, We a flu shot is when the dog licks your face, We like Guys trips and Girls trips mostly because you only have to think about yourself for a few days, We think baseball is the greatest and worst sport in the world, We like http://www.houseind.com/ , We like driving tractors more than golfing, We....”
But trying to define “Who” “We” are as a wine company is pretty tough.
All of our major decisions are made over dinner tables, sitting on the back of tailgates of trucks in the vineyard, and flagging down a tractor at the end of a row so we can “chat”. Pretty much we are a family that happens to make wine... to be honest We are a family that grows wine. Yes thats much closer to the truth. We grow wine. We steward our grapes each year with the clear understanding that these grapes will become wine. Not Juice, or jelly, or something you grab out of the fridge late at night, these grapes are wine. We take this very seriously, we don't have a company we pay to farm for us. We believe that the Grape grows best in the farmers shadow.
And since you have read all the way to the bottom, you should probably just come into the Tasting Room and try our wines. You have come this far i promise it will be worth it.
We Thank you
A Little More about us
Let me take a moment and tell you Congratulations.
You are one of a small group of people that have found SAARLOOS&sons Family Wine Company. This is completely by design and intent, and we’ll will take time to explain why in a few moments. Again, I welcome you into the Family and look forward to getting to know you and your family. I will take you through the timeline that lead us both to this moment and give you, probably too much, information about who we are along the way. It answers a lot of questions you may have and gives you insight into SAARLOOS&sons. So lets begin where all things do...
SAARLOOS&sons wines were never meant to be available to the public. We started with a small 17-acre farm in hills of Los Olivos, on the only south facing hill, let alone terraced, on Ballard Canyon. Larry woke one morning to see a cool layer of fog filling the canyon, he felt the midday sun on his neck, he listened to the wind turn the windmill blades each day coming from the same direction, and then he did what every good farmer does. He waited, he watched, he felt, and he listened. Day after day, week after week, year after year.
Then like a great farmer, he picked up his shovel and got to work.
We planted 17 acres of syrah, and sold every grape. Year after year we sold every grape. The quality of the grapes kept rising with each year. And with each year we would learn so much about the vineyard that you feel you know everything about it at the beginning of the season, and then by harvest you look back and realize that you really knew very little and you have again learned volumes. This cycle of learning grows every year. We have had the great fortune to sell our grapes or “babies” as Larry describes them to premiere wineries in our valley. Suddenly we had less grapes than were demanded of us, new wineries were calling to try to buy our grapes. Then and there we and the decision that we would only produce the highest quality grapes God would allow us to and tell winemakers we really wanted to sell to that we would have to put them on a list, and if anyone of our current buyers dropped off we would call them. Haven’t called anyone yet.
One year we thought we should “make a little wine for our family and friends.” so we did, and 2 years after that harvest we gave it away. Then strangely our friends called to “get” some more of our wine. They would tell us how much they loved it and when they opened it. It was always at a special function, or for an anniversary. We really enjoyed hearing how and when they drank it most of all. It felt good to share what we do 365 days a year with people we love and in turn have them enjoy our wine with people they love. Sadly, we had to tell them that there isn’t any more and we will be making some more in the future. Some said that they would in fact BUY it from us. They next year a curious thing happened, we started receiving calls (our home number was on the bottle) from people we did not know asking to buy some wine. When we would call them back to let them know we again did not have any more, we would ask them, like asking someone who found your wallet you didn’t know was missing, where did you find it? The stories would pour out of people. Many times I would watch my father have hour long in depth conversations with total strangers about our family, our farming, our vineyards, and our wine. Sometimes my mother would be gardening and a car would drive up the long driveway and ask, “is this Saarloos and sons?” she would reply “yes!” and talk for hours. This kept happening over and over. We even had a group of German car fanatics with an interpreter stay for hours. We have had people get engaged on the road overlooking our vineyard, on an asphalt road! Currently our vineyard is even on the cover of the phone book. Suddenly we realized that maybe we are doing something right.
Our family believes that the crops grow best in the farmers shadow, thus we farm our vineyards ourselves. This is a bit of a lost passion in the wine community these days. With so many corporate wines you see on the grocery shelves. I will agree that it is much more exciting to bake a cake than it is to grow wheat. But ask any chef that grows his own produce why he does it? I am sure the answer is the only answer it can be, “Quality!”
You can make a bad wine from a bad grape, you can make a bad wine from a GREAT grape, but the only way you can make a Great wine is to start with a Great Grape. Truer words are never spoken. and that is why we farm everything ourselves. Moreover we never know where we will be harvesting our grapes from in our won vineyards. We always defer the choice to our customers, thus we farm every vine as that vines grapes will not only bear then name of our Vineyard but also bear the name of my family.
My grandfather once said that, “if you ever put my name on anything you do, it better deserve it.” what a world we would live in if everyone had that weight hung around their decisions. That weight hangs on every one of our decisions. I can use my first name and act however I want to, but if I choose to be a Saarloos I need to think about how I act. And this is why we choose to name our Wine Saarloos and sons.
Most wines you find have a last name associated with it. Mondovi, Rothschild, act, and some have whimsical names that you have no idea who is behind it. Saarloos and sons chose to name our wine such because we are a fourth generation family company. We have worked together side by side for four generations. There is no THE SAARLOOS; there are only his sons (and daughters) that live to honor the name with their lives. Our family creed is to
“Live to Honor those that have come before us, and Prepare the way for those yet to come!”
A truly selfless existence at its intent, but completely fulfilling in every way.