In Memoriam‎ > ‎Juan Zago‎ > ‎

Notable Employee

Big Juan Merlo Zago has grown grapes and been involved in winemaking in one aspect or another here in Rutherford for a zillion years. He’s widely loved and respected by vineyard workers, wine makers and owners, many of whom rely on his years of experience and seek out his opinion on both grapegrowing and winemaking. Always on top of and ahead of things, Juan arrives at work well before sunup to see to it that the crews and their supervisors are in place with whatever they need for another productive day. Although Juan typically works 6 days a week it is not at all unusual for him to be found on the ranches Sundays as well. Juan treats every property and project as if it was his own. He is an expert in tractor operations and cultivation, vine training, suckering, pruning, harvesting and all other aspects of vineyard operations. In earlier days, when charged with equipment repairs and maintenance, in addition to all his other responsibilities, you could always tell that Juan had tightened something because it would require a “cheater bar” or extra hands to loosen it.

A man with fists of steel and a heart as big as they get, Juan never hesitates to jump in to help people in personal need. Many people have benefitted from Juan’s help, both here at home and in Juan’s native town in Mexico. Often, when not at work on one of the ranches, Juan can be found helping family, friends, co-workers and even strangers. Juan has left his special brand on this company, on the vineyards he walks and on whole communities between here in the Napa Valley and Mexico.

  Posted on June 1, 2010