The Captain family has resided in Moraga, California since January 1989. Parents Sal (Salah) and Susan filled their home with four energetic children – Alexander, David, Joseph, and Sara – and then came upon a novel idea for occupying their time. After numerous trips to Europe, Napa, Sonoma, and a lot of reaserch, the Captains decided that their property was an ideal site for a vineyard . . . if only they could clear the land of its thick brush, and terrace the hillside. The family embarked upon the project with zeal. For over a year, weekends were spent, hauling undergrowth from the hillside, battling poison oak, shredding grease weed, and carving staircases into the hillside. And while that year certainly produced more than its fair share of bug bites, sunburns, slivers, and skinned knees, it also gave rise to a beautifully terraced two Acre vineyard and four children with a remarkable work ethic.
Meanwhile, Susan became a student of viticulture, attending classes at UC Davis, Santa Rosa and Napa Valley Colleges. She modeled the vineyard on the European hillside style, affording healthy stress and competition between vines. In 2005, the soil was ready for vines and approximately 1,500 Petite Sirah, 500 Pinot Noir, 500 Cabernet Franc, and 500 Petit Verdot vines went into the hillside. The Moraga microclimate proved ideal for grape growing and in 2007; 200 additional Cabernet Sauvignon vines were added.
In 2008 Sal retired from his "day job" and dedicated himself full-time to wine making. The Captain's winery came into bonding in 2008. The following years harvest (2009) netted 12,800 pounds of grapes, which Sal made into 10 barrels of wine as his first vintage, subsequently released in 2012.
Since then, Captain Vineyards became fully sustainable, environmentally friendly, and the first Green Winery in Contra Costa County. We also have helped several land owners in Lamorinda to design, plant and manage their own vineyards in a Sustainable fashion.