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Manuel Montes - Vice President

Manuel Montes has a long history in the Napa Valley. He was born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico and studied mechanical engineering at the University of Mexico. In 1961 at the age of 21 he came to Napa, where his father and brother were living, and began working in the vineyards. For 20 years he worked closely with Elwood Mee, a local legend and grapegrower who had achieved a good deal of notoriety as a water witcher. Manuel learned the remarkable craft of water witching, or dowsing (ability to find well water and streams).

In 1982 Manuel joined Bulmaro and began working at Joseph Phelps Vineyard as a vineyard manager. He repeatedly dowsed for water for JPV with an astounding success rate and became an expert in the planting and pruning processes.

Manuel retired from JPV in 2003 and came to Marita’s Vineyard where he lovingly attends to each vine. He currently resides in Napa with his wife, Maria, and children Manny, Erika, Owen, and Valeria.

Bulmaro speaks with great affection about his brother. "Manuel is my right hand. He was the person who got me involved in this business, who taught me the basics of viticulture. He makes my job much easier. I couldn't have come as far as I have without him."