Rick & Aurora Grimm
Aurora was one of 7 daughters raised in Islington, London by her parents who emigrated from Italy in the late 1940’s. Food, farming and family wine making were an important part of their lives. She met Rick in 1984, while working in the oil business.
Rick grew up in West Virginia, and worked in the oil business for most of his career. He moved to London in 1983. In 1993, he and Aurora launched their own petroleum products, blending and distribution company in London. Their company eventually focused on blending environmentally friendly road fuels, using biofuels as a constituent in the gasoline and diesel blends.
After spending 4 years in Monaco, they were fortunate enough to sell their successful family run London based petroleum product businesses, and in the fall of 2007, Rick and Aurora decided to take up a new life in California and moved to Santa Barbara with their 3 children, Henri, Gabriella & Sam.
In the summer of 2010, they purchased 135 acres on Kentucky Road in the Santa Ynez Valley.With their appreciation of European wines and food in mind, a year later, they bought an adjoining 108 acre parcel and decided to try their hand at farming on the mesas of the 1st parcel. While initially dedicating a “couple of acres” to wine grapes and a “couple of acres” to olives, after several consultations with Jeff Newton & Ben Merz of Coastal Vineyard Care, the project almost immediately grew to 16.6 acres of grapes & 5 Acres of Italian varietal olives.
When Aurora and Rick Grimm began their search for a winemaker, they did not have to look far. While exploring numerous producers and tasting through countless wines, they began to discover some of the winemakers who were making lovely wines in a more ‘European style’, something they had grown accustomed to while living abroad. During their adventures in tasting, one winemaker continually stood out from the pack…Paul Lato.
The Grimm’s first met Paul in 2008 when a friend of theirs, visiting from France, asked to visit his winery. They soon found out that Paul’s journey to winemaking was as inspiring as his wines.
Paul’s story is one of the most incredible success stories in California wine. He grew up in communist Poland, later pursuing professional training as a sommelier in Canada. He studied through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust based in London, and took a course at the German Wine Academy. Later traveling to the Central Coast of California, he had no formal training in winemaking per se, but worked two harvests as an intern while studying to become a sommelier. Mentored by Jim Clendenen at Au Bon Climat, and Bob Lindquist at Qupe during those two harvests, Paul was truly inspired, and in 2002 decided to follow his dream to make wine and returned to California's Central Coast permanently. With him, he brought his life neatly folded into two suitcases, and his savings (which wasn't much). In addition to his belongings, he also had plenty of passion, a little craziness, and a certain innocence, believing he could actually become a successful winemaker.
In 2011, Paul agreed to join the Grimm’s on their quest to make exemplary wines of the highest quality from their newly planted vineyard in Happy Canyon.
Philippe Coderey is a 25th generation vine grower, winemaker, and farmer who has spent his entire life farming and tending vineyards and orchards in his native Provence as well as on Corsica, in Switzerland, Pennsylvania, and California.
For a brief period, he was a pesticide sales person in Switzerland where he accidentally poisoned himself with his product, and decided to change his career path.
Philippe's experience with Biodynamics originated in 1987 at the Camphill Village Kimberton Hills where he completed a three year Biodynamic training. He continued to live and work there for an additional eight years.
Philippe was extensively involved with the prestigious M.Chapoutier Domaine – where he supervised the Demeter certification of the Banyuls and Collioures appellations, as well as overseeing the biodynamic farming of 130 acres of vineyards in the Hermitage, Crozes Hermitage, Cornas, St Joseph, Condrieu and Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellations.
He has worked and consulted with a number of vineyards including:
In 2011, prior to the original planting of Grimm’s Bluff , Philippe implemented biodynamic farming methods at the ranch, and has been instrumental in helping to reduce water use, while sharing his vast knowledge of French viticulture.
Phillippe together with Larry Finkle and Ben Merz of the well-known Coastal Vineyard Care management company, the Central Coast’s leading vineyard management team, work together to preserve and honor the land, by applying organic and biodydamic principles in the vineyard.
Marketing and Sales
Born and raised on the Central Coast, Jeff was blessed with having Wine County in his backyard. After receiving his BA in Marketing from California Lutheran University, Jeff returned to the Santa Barbara area follow his passion for food & wine in the world of hospitality. Years as a Sommelier & Wine Director helped Jeff develop his palate and industry acumen.
His journey eventually led him to work for The Thornhill Companies under the wing of Nicholas Miller, where he managed and supported the Sales & Marketing initiatives of all national cased goods projects. When not spending time with wife Sara and their two young girls Lucy and Piper, Jeff can be found in the Pacific riding waves, in the pool playing water polo, or on the golf course searching for his ball.