Our Story: Sheldon’s Craft

Sheldon started life in west Texas where his geologist father, Jim, searched for oil and gas. By the time Sheldon was 12, his father’s search took the family to Alberta. In his early 20s, when his parents moved back to Texas, Sheldon chose to stay in Canada to pursue his own passions. He bought 500 acres of land near Nelson, BC, where he cleared enough space to build a 1500 square-foot completely off-grid cabin. He spent his summers in the woods of BC and his winters in the city of Calgary, AB, occasionally taking breaks to travel around South & Central America.

Eventually, he started a family of his own and went back to school for Communications and Public relations. His passion for “making it on his own” continued after graduation with the pursuit of his entrepreneurial endeavor, Keystone Communications. Sheldon ran the company for 15 years, before deciding to join the family business.

In 2003, Sheldon moved to Napa to join his parents, Jim & Barbara, at Paloma Vineyard. He spent the next six years learning viticulture (grape farming) from his mother, Barbara, and oenology (winemaking) from his father. Barbara instilled in Sheldon to respect the vines as if each were one of his children – over 7,500 in total. Jim taught Sheldon how to let the wine make itself with minimal intervention.

In 2007, Sheldon became the full-time Paloma winemaker and continues to build on Jim and Barbara’s legacy: “To grow the best grapes possible and make a wine that reflects the terroir of our vineyard.” Under Sheldon’s winemaking artistry, Paloma’s 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon was listed as Wine Spectator’s “Spectator Selections – Highly Recommended” in 2011.

Sheldon is continually working and fine-tuning the viticulture practices and the winemaking craft. In 2018, he began adding Cabernet Franc vines to the estate. This new varietal has always fascinated Sheldon and he is excited to explore the possibilities. The first vintage is expected to be released in 2024. This spring (2022), Sheldon brought in a specialist in regenerative farming to explore how Paloma can work with the natural ecology to create more fertile growing conditions for years to come. As droughts and fires become more common, small changes like these will become more and more important in managing sustainable viticulture.

“..Sheldon honor[s] his late father and his dream to make great wine from this historic site. He is crafting some of the best wines to date and the future is looking great for Paloma.” – Wine of the Day December 18, 2015, grapelive

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