Jim Pride would say, "Participate in quality." Jim was famous for leaving no stone unturned and no detail to chance.
Pride was a hands-on farmer. With a sharp eye for quality, Pride walked these verdant mountaintop vineyards, always testing and modifying farming practices for the better of the crop.
Jim passed away in August of 2004 after a long battle with cancer, yet his commitment to quality and his vision for Pride Mountain Vineyards is carried forward by Carolyn Pride and their two grown children Suzanne Pride Bryan and Steven Pride. They are joined by winemaker Sally Johnson, and the entire Pride Mountain Vineyards team, who are proud of their accomplishments and take great care to preserve Jim's legacy.
Agriculture is in the Pride family's blood. The Pride's purchase of historic Summit Ranch in 1989 and its subsequent development was the culmination of a lifetime of farming for Jim and Carolyn.
Native Californians born into farming families, the Prides have farmed rice, walnuts, almonds, sugar beets, tomatoes, Black Angus cattle, and now wine. Pride started out as a dentist, and later founded Pride Institute, the nation's premier dental practice management organization. Renowned as a public speaker and educator, Jim was never happier than when he was on his tractor, spending much of his working career with his hands in the dirt. Farming in the Sacramento Valley and living in the San Francisco Bay Area eventually lost its appeal, however. Wanting to live closer to the land, the Prides purchased this historic winery property with a few acres of vineyards, moving to the top of Spring Mountain in 1990.
"We traded dark, rich soil at $5,000 per acre in the Sacramento Valley for dusty, rocky soil at $25,000 per acre," Jim would joke. Buying the parcel on the "sleepy little mountain top" was supposed to usher in a quieter, pre-retirement lifestyle. But that quickly changed when the Prides realized that the fruit from their replanted vineyards, sold to local winemakers, was producing extraordinary wine.
While Jim evolved from grape grower to wine grower, Carolyn kept the operation humming during Jim's multitude of business trips for the Pride Institute. Carolyn has been the steady keel that has allowed Pride Mountain Vineyards to grow from a humble beginning of three employees working out of Carolyn and Jim's house, to the 45 employee, 20,000 case per year estate that Pride Mountain Vineyards is today.