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Keeping it in the Family

June 14, 2017

In honor of Father’s Day this Sunday, we take a peek into the lives of winemakers who were born into the industry!

Matt and Steve Glunz, Glunz Family Winery & Cellars, Janell Dusi, J Dusi Wines, and Anthony Riboli, San Antonio Winery share what it’s like to be a multi-generation winemaker and the joys (and struggles!) of working with family.

Matt and Steve Glunz, Fourth Generation

When did your family get into the wine industry or come to Paso?  Our family has been in the wine business for 129 years.  Our great grandfather started our family wine business in 1888 on the north side of Chicago.  He was a wine and beer bottler as well as a retailer and importer.

What is the best part about being a multi-generation in the industry or working along side your family? All of the second guessing and criticizing from our dad who lives on the hill above the winery and is always watching and judging.  😜

We really feel very fortunate to have our mom and dad with us at the winery to help guide us.  We are very lucky to have their combined 100 years of experience in the wine industry.  It is an industry that has changed a ton but has many of the same principles and traditions that are important to hold on to.

Are there any challenges being in business with family? I would say that the toughest part is that we are all very passionate about what we do and so we are never really able to leave it at the winery.  We get together every day for lunch and every Sunday we have dinner with all of our families and eventually, our mom will have to interject and say “please no more work talk”.

Do you feel any pressure to uphold the family name? For sure and to keep it going for the next generation.  As kids our dad would say, “That’s your name on that label” and “Pride in the Glunz name begins with pride in the Glunz wines”.

We are the fourth generation in our family business and we are responsible for leaving it better than we found it and grow it so that the next generation, if they choose, can come in and do the same.

Do you have hopes that the next generation of owners will continue to be family?  Of course but only if it is something that they are excited about and have a passion for.  We have a long-standing rule in our family that if you want to get into the business, you have to work away from the company for at least 3 years.  It gives you an opportunity to decide away from the family to make sure that this is something that you would like to get into or explore something that you are passionate about.

Our nephew, the oldest in the 5th generation is studying wine and viticulture at CalPoly and is planning on joining the business, so we feel very good about the future.

Any tips about working with family or taking over the family business? Listen to your mom and dad, and rely on and benefit from their experiences.  You will have to make your own path but accept advice when it is offered.

Also, working away from the family business is incredibly important.  Go and learn different management and winemaking styles.  Make sure this is what you want to spend the rest of your life doing earn your way into the business, it is not a handout.

Janell Dusi, Fourth Generation

When did your family get into the wine industry or come to Paso? My family planted vineyards in Paso along Highway 101 in the early 1920’s.

Did you always know you were going to follow in your family’s footsteps or was there a moment where you knew you wanted to? We all worked so hard on the vineyard that I knew from a young age I wanted to take the grape farming further than just farming and selling the grapes

What is the best part about being a multi-generation in the industry or working along side your family? I’m the fourth generation on the grape farming side and love that we can carry in this family tradition and keep the land the same as the 1920’s

Are there any challenges being in business with family? I love seeing my family every day, we even live on the same property!

Do you have hopes that the next generation of owners will continue to be family? Yes! I have 2 nephews and one niece that all help in the vineyards but I hope one will love making wine too!

Any tips about working with family or taking over the family business? Family is forever. Family is bigger and more important than any business or money.

Anthony Riboli, Fourth Generation

When did your family get into the wine industry or come to Paso? Over 30 years ago, our family began to buy grapes from local family growers.

Did you always know you were going to follow in your family’s footsteps or was there a moment where you knew you wanted to? I was planning to attend medical school when I reconsidered and completed my Master’s degree in viticulture at UC Davis.

What is the best part about being a multi-generation in the industry or working along side your family? My favorite part of being a 4th generation winemaker is updating my grandparents every day. They are 96 and 95, respectively. However, they are very engaged and want to know all the details of our business.

Are there any challenges being in business with family? Certainly, you need to be careful that business isn’t the only conversation at family dinner! You also have to realize that all family members have different talents and capabilities.

What is/was your dad/grandfather’s best advice that you listened to? And dad/grandfather’s advice you should start listening to? Best advice was have “passion in everything you do.” I should start listening to “life is a marathon not a sprint.”

Do you have hopes that the next generation of owners will continue to be family? Of course! I have two daughters, but I only want them to come into the business if they are truly passionate and want to join. It’s always going to be hard work.