While in their twenties, Stuart and his high school friend Michael Crete experimented with mixing wine and fruit juices. They ended up inventing the wine cooler, and the iconic California Cooler brand. Within four years they went from selling cases out of the back of a pickup truck to a multi-million dollar business.
When Stuart was in his early thirties, they sold California Cooler and he moved on to a new challenge. Going back to his farming roots, he immersed himself in the study of viticulture.
His seven year search for the perfect site ended with Alder Springs ranch.
He bought Alder Springs ranch and broke ground in 1993, planting his first vineyard block. Today, Stuart meticulously thins his grapes with a "bonsai" method. While his yield-per-acre is significantly below the industry average, the resulting quality of the grapes is of the finest in California.