After graduating from college with a degree in law enforcement, I entered the construction trades while awaiting an opportunity to utilize my degree. I worked for a general contractor that built auto service stations, restaurants and government installations over a four state area. During this time I learned how to do anything necessary to construct most buildings from the foundations to the final polish on the floors. These were valuable experiences that allowed me to construct every building at the vineyard, including our home, pretty much by myself and friends and family.
I left the construction business for an offer to join a major insurance company to help develop catastrophic response teams to service policy holders during the aftermath of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods etc. When not responding to such disasters, I was based here in Bucks County to settle major fire & water claims in the five county area. I witnessed the misery and resourcefulness of countless families during this time. In 1984, I left the disaster side of the business and opened an insurance agency in Doylestown. The R.A. Fraser Agency is one of the older agencies in Central Bucks.
While I am still licensed I am involved as a mentor, as my son and son-in law now operate that business, in 1999 the family decided to put most of the farm in preservation, so my wife and I decided to get the family back into the farming business. Most of the land has been rented to other farmers since 1958 and this was a timely opportunity considering the comeback of local wineries and breweries in the country. Besides, it was an easy transition to move from the insurance business to the alcohol business (laughs). Our first planting was 2000 and we opened in 2006.
We have plenty of land to expand our vines but I believe bigger isn’t better. I believe the bigger the production, the more compromises are made. Some of the best wines made are done in people’s basements. The problem with that is the wine is gone too soon. We are producing about 16,000 bottles a year and that’s about enough corks one shoulder can handle. We live at the winery and along with our neighbors enjoy the serenity that night time offers.