Both Michael and Kara come from families of educators. Michael graduated from Santa Clara University and built a 30+ year career in public relations/corporate communications, including leadership roles at major agencies and chief communications officer positions at a number of large publicly traded companies. Kara, a UC Santa Barbara graduate, also had a career in public relations, but with the arrival of their twins transitioned to the fitness industry where she continues to coach part-time.
Kara and Michael met in San Diego, where the kids were born, but relocated to the Bay Area to be closer to family, as well as for the career opportunities. Michael saw three of his employers acquired over the years, but the high point came with the successful IPO of CrowdStrike in June of 2019
Dreams really do come true. For 20 years, we dreamed about owning a world-class vineyard. In July 2020, trying to escape the boredom of the pandemic, we drove to Sonoma’s renowned Alexander Valley to take a look at a property. Masks on — hopes minimal. When we drove through the gate at Woodhawk Vineyards, it was love at first sight. Twenty-one acres of beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon grapes greeted us, along with a house that was perfect. Finding out that the grapes were in high demand by the famed Silver Oak sealed the deal.
We had always been wine lovers, making regular treks from our home in the east bay of San Francisco to Napa and Sonoma. We were fascinated by winemaking and viticulture. We studied appellations, terroir and microclimates, discussing each winery in detail before a visit to a tasting room. The passion for all things wine led us to dream of owning our own vineyard one day.
That fateful hot July day, we drove from our house to “just go look” at a gorgeous 70 acre property Michael had come across online. One look at the Tuscan-inspired terracing, covered in beautiful green vines and robust Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and we knew we had found the perfect place.
Our Siberian husky puppy, Tika, happily agreed, and loves running up and down the rows of vines. Our twins also gave it a big thumbs up, and before the end of the year Woodhawk Vineyards was ours.
For now we happily grow cabernet grapes for Silver Oak Vineyards and rent out the property to those who want an authentic wine country vacation experience. In the years ahead we have many exciting plans. We hope you will join us on our journey.
Michael and Kara
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