As a boy growing up on the outskirts of Detroit, David Girard thought more about hockey, snow, and auto plants than vines and grapes. But after working in his father’s gas station through high school and college, a stint as an Army enlistee, a Ford manager and accountant, and armed with an MBA from Wayne State University and a law degree from the University of Michigan, a California perspective seemed like a good idea. With wife and daughter Rachael in tow, David moved to Berkeley where he earned his Ph.D. After practicing law briefly, he moved to Europe for a year where he studied and traveled. Upon his return, David accepted a position as a professor at U.C. Santa Barbara in the Graduate School of Education where he taught educational finance and law.
After three years, David returned to Berkeley where his second daughter, Yvette was born. He taught for some six years at U.C. Berkeley before returning to the practice of law, primarily representing schools and colleges. This is the work that brought David to the Sierra Foothills. Today he continues to practice law, yet feels the tug of the vineyard grow stronger with each passing year. As for other interests, David has been an avid runner for over 35 years and continues to run an occasional 10k and a rare half-marathon. He has abandoned marathons because they hurt too much. During the weekend, when he’s taking a break from planting flowers and landscaping at the vineyard, you can find him on the winery patio sipping a chilled glass of Viognier-Roussanne.
Jorden Mingle, our winemaker, brings his years of experience from his extensive work at Sierra Foothill wineries to craft terroir driven wines from our estate grown fruit. "Working at a vineyard where the goal is to not only produce high quality wine, but to also tend the earth in a respectful manner is truly a rewarding experience." When not crafting balanced wines, Jorden enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons exploring the joys the Sierra foothills offer, from river hikes to trail running.
Rod does double duty as both David Girard Vineyards Tasting Room, and Wine Club Manager. As the former General Director of the Sacramento Opera, Rod appreciates the importance of putting together a first rate production. If you ask Rod about our wines, our history or local near facts and trivia, he is equal to the task. You may hear an occasional “Ya’ll” from Rod. That would be attributable to his Texas roots.
A jack-of-all-trades, Nick can be found in the tasting room, working with the vines, or assisting the winemaker; giving him a little extra insight into how David Girard Vineyards operates. Over the last three years, Nick has learned a great deal about the wine industry and had his interest in vineyard management piqued. As a local living in Garden Valley, he is happy to answer any questions about the surrounding area or how our wines are made.
Eli Gonzalez has been a part of farming the vineyards at David Girard Vineyards for the past 20 years. He got his start under the guidance of our original vineyard manager Ron Mansfield and has since assisted in the transition to operating the vineyard utilizing organic practices. Most days you can find Eli in the field where our fruit benefits from his vigilant eye and dedication to growing high quality fruit.