It's a bountiful life: From the ground up
June/July 2012 California Bountiful magazine
Interview and photo by Ching Lee
This young farmer also builds wine caves.
More online: Related articles
As a construction worker, Beau Moore has been building vineyards and wineries for other farmers for years, specializing in wine caves. His goal is to build up his family's other business: Moore Family Winery in Lake County.
Why did you want to be a farmer and winemaker?
The wine and the winery is something my dad always wanted, but we never had the land to do it. In 1996, he bought the property (in Kelseyville). It had no water, no power, no roads—nothing. We basically built the entire place ourselves.
What are wine caves used for?
Most of the time, they are used for barrel storage because it's 58 to 60 degrees with high humidity inside the caves, so it's very cost-effective and green. One of the wineries we built a cave for was spending seven grand a month to run the air conditioning units to cool the barrels down.
How long does it take to build them?
It depends on the size and the material we're in, but they take a long time. If we're on hard rock, we have to blast it with dynamite.
How does your construction job influence what you do on the farm?
I've been lucky enough to work with some extremely well-known winemakers and vintners, so I get to see what they do and pick their brains about things we could do to benefit our place.
The wonder of wine caves
Evidence shows that caves were used exclusively to store wine as far back as 6,100 years ago. Today, California's winegrape growers and wineries are building new kinds of wine caves and using them in a variety of ways—from tasting rooms and retail shops to the sites of special events.
Check out our magazine archives for fascinating details about wine caves, locations of caves in California and a related book review: