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Bios

Jack Galante – Proprietor

Jack worked on the family’s cattle ranch every summer as a young man, and his interest in wine started while living in Europe at age 13. A geographer and environmental planner by education, Jack’s passion for, and dedication to, preserving the land manifests in his sustainable approach to his cattle ranch, vineyards, and winery. Jack is the creative mind behind Galante Vineyard's label design and brand building, and he oversees all aspects of the business with an emphasis on national and international distribution and assisting Greg in the winemaking process. Charismatic and charming, Jack is a respected member of the greater wine community and has represented Monterey County since 1996 as a Board Member of the family winemakers of California. He is also a talented chef. At many winery events, Jack can be found happily wielding BBQ spatula and tongs and offering generous pours of whatever vintage he happens to have on hand to everyone within arm's reach. Jack is as dedicated to his winery as he is to his family: his wife Dawn and their five children. If Jack is not side by side with Dawn in their tasting room offices, he is probably holding her hand as they walk through the vines, their dogs never too far behind. Jack is the true embodiment of the "cowboy philosophy" he preaches, stylizing his life on exacting advice such as, "Always drink upstream from the herd," and "If you come to a fork in the road, take the fork!"

 

 

Dawn R Galante – CFO

With a passion for life and a head for business, Dawn has managed the books and all finances not only for her own winery, but also for her husband's Galante Vineyards, Rancho Galante, and Galante Family Winery.   Born and raised in Michigan, Dawn traveled to California in 1985, was introduced to her husband Jack in 1999, and has worked with Galante Vineyards since 2001.   Approachable and easy to talk to, Dawn cherishes her family and friends above all else. Dawn has a mischievous, adventurous side, and is always eager to take part in her favorite outdoor sports: snow skiing, scuba diving, and hiking.  As living proof that dreamers exist and excel, Dawn has built her life on free-thinker Henry David Thoreau's belief that "Dreams are the touchstones of our character." When not pulling long hours at the tasting room offices on QuickBooks, Dawn can occasionally be found strolling hand in hand with Jack through the vines at twilight.

 

 

Greg Vita – Winemaker

A fifth generation Californian and early morning long-distance runner, Greg has been a vineyard and winemaking consultant to wineries in the Napa Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains, and Monterey County since 1994. Prior to opening his consulting business he was with Spring Mountain Vineyards in St. Helena for twelve years serving as Wine Maker and General Manager. A UC Davis graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Botany and Plant Science, Greg has made wine for Frogs Leap, Dunn, Philip Tongi, Spottswood, and Chimney Rock. Since the start of Galante Vineyards in 1994, Greg has shown his dedication to excellence in the rich, robust wines that he produces. Married with two sons, Greg is quiet yet amusingly frank, believing that, as JRR Tolkien said, "The wise speak only of what they know." He enjoys the outdoor pursuits of hiking, fly fishing, and skiing, and can often be seen commuting between vineyards in Cachagua and his family home in Big Sur, maybe in a Mini Cooper, or perhaps his Dodge Ram.

 

 

Eliud Ortiz – Vineyard and Ranch Manager

Eliud has been with Galante Vineyards since the first vines were planted in 1983. Eliud knows the full 700 acres of Rancho Galante and Galante Vineyards like the back of his hand. He knows every vine, where each section of grapes thrive, and which section needs assistance. His best tool for calculating when to harvest? Taste buds. Eliud works intimately with Galante winemaker, Greg Vita, on a daily basis, and has done so since day one. A native of Guatemala, Eliud received his credentials in electrical sciences, but his expertise is without exception his ability to grow the finest grapes in Monterey County, helping Galante Vineyards to maintain its sterling reputation for producing exquisite, expressive fruit. Eliud has lived with his wife and children on the ranch since the beginning, and to this day can be found walking the property, his hands and smile encouraging the vines to make this year a good one. Benjamin Franklin once said, "Wine is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Eliud agrees.

 

 

Janet Mueller – Tasting Room

A newcomer to the west coast, Janet arrived in 2012 from Marco Island, Florida, by way of the Maine coast and the Chicago countryside where she grew up.  Her acclimation to Carmel began with an introduction to the tasting room by longstanding Galante Wine Gang members and friends.  Now, she finds herself sharing Galante-style wines with those who have the same fascination and fondness for California wines as she has. This spring, Janet spent several weeks in Provence, France, immersed in the culture, food and wine. Her many years in the travel industry took her to exotic destinations, in much the same way a fine wine can transport you.  She brings to the Galante tasting room a genuine appreciation for wine and her guests' tasting experience. Carmel is a wine-oriented culture, and the beauty and spirit of adventure are what brought Janet here.  When she’s not busy in the tasting room, she’s exploring this beautiful coast: riding, hiking, and walking her dogs on the beach.  She’s certain Jimmy Buffett has it right that “If there’s a heaven for me, it has a beach attached to it.”  And a glass of wine at sunset, too.