Cooper Garrod Vineyard
Santa Cruz Mountains AVA
Cooper-Garrod strategy for success is amazing throughout their 100+ year history.
A deep commitment to agriculture, with the ability to adapt and diversify. That, in a nutshell, characterizes the Cooper-Garrod strategy for success during their amazing 100+ year history. What began as a small prune and apricot orchard in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains in the 1890s has culminated into thriving multi-purpose hub of activity featuring a 150-horse boarding business complete with a riding and jumping arena, a 20-acre of vineyard with winery facilities and a family housing compound with four separate Cooper and Garrod family residences.
Credit Vince Garrod for seeing the future or rather what it was not, back in the 1960s. “Orchards and agricultural land were taking a second seat to the housing boom,” Vince recalls. “And the price we were getting for fruit was on the decline,” he adds. So being out in the country he logically determined that a horse boarding business would be a viable alternative.
The plum and apricot trees on the property were first planted by Vince’s grandparents, David and Sophia Garrod who immigrated from England in 1892 with their 3 young children. Both were school teachers who like many European immigrants of that era, were looking for a better way of life. That better way of life started when they purchased 40 acres of undeveloped land near Saratoga, in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The Garrod’s eldest child, known as R.V. (Ralph Vincent), was 12 years old at the time the family moved to the U.S. As a young boy, he helped his parents plant the orchards, then later oversaw the business as he expanded the family property another 200 acres. Interestingly, R.V. carved another career path in the insurance business. In 1928 he helped establish Farmer’s Automobile Insurance Co. when at the beginning of the automobile era he recognized that drivers probably needed liability insurance.
R.V. and his wife Emma had three kids of their own.