Alvaro Zamora is a long-time Vineyard Manager for River Road Family Vineyards and Winery. Having worked in vineyard management since 1988, Alvaro began at the Ross Road property in Green Valley of the Russian River Valley, in 2002. It was offered to him as a full time job, instead of a day job; which had been the case for him, prior to this full time opportunity.
Originally an apple orchard, everything had to be pulled out, in order to plant a vineyard. Zamora is responsible for planting each of the original vines at River Road Family Vineyards and Winery’ location. He presents the perfect combination of nature and nurture for this exceptional vineyard, and marvels with the fact that he intimately knows the life history of each and every vine.
Alavaro states, “At the end of the day, if I feel that I haven’t done the job right, it’s not out of the question for me to come back to the property and redo, or finish, the job. I don’t sleep well if I haven’t done the best job. I work on the property as if it’s my own. My father taught me this ethic, while working in the fields of Mexico. I began at the age of seven in the fields with my father, alongside big men.”
Immigrating to the United States in 1980, Alvaro was searching for a better life for his family and him. He brought with him a desire to work in a meaningful way, in order to realize that dream. Alvaro knew that he needed to take jobs being offered and to become a quick study. He succeeded with every opportunity, and this his hard work ethic has become his hallmark.
In Mexico, Alvaro didn’t work with wine grapes, but the attention to detail in vineyards captivated his heart and soul, creating a love for viticulture. He began in Guerneville. “I never say ‘no’ when asked to do something. I accept any challenge that’s put before me; I take is as a possibility to continue growing. Just tell me how you want the job done and I’ll get it done.”
When he works in a vineyard, he treats it as if it’s his own. “I’ve seen too many people who work in the vineyards, but they’re not committed to the work. Viticulture is a lot of work, and it’s very important that for the long term health of the plant, everyone wins. If you don’t treat it right, prune it correctly, etc., it won’t take care of you.”
It’s a really respective thing for Alvaro. “It’s my life. I take it very personally. It’s really important that I do a really thorough job. It’s my family… So, to take care of my job, I have to take care of my life, my family. I have to make sure that my owner is happy, so I can continue doing what I do. I work alongside my people, just like everybody else, because it’s the best way to manage people; by example, not by telling them what to do. If you hire quality people, the job takes care of itself. If you have good people, you don’t have to micro manage them. Just lead by example. If you have confidence in people, you just let them get the job done.”