The Salman family has been growing wine grapes for over 45 years, and after a decade of planning and collaboration, opened the doors to its winery facility for tastings, weddings, events and wine sales.
Located directly off the levee road of State Highway 160, the Salman family has developed over 450 acres of vineyards with more than a dozen varieties planted including Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Fiano, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Symphony, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot. Among the vast acreage of wine grapes, there are also two pear orchards, adding to the beautiful landscape that is Grand Island Vineyards.
Beginning in the 1920’s, Mujiko Salman immigrated from what is now Croatia, and began growing tomatoes and asparagus along the fertile river Delta. Enver Salman, Mujiko’s son, first planted wine grapes in 1969, including French Colombard and Petite Sirah and remains an integral part of daily operations while wife Cynthia oversees administration of the Winery and Salman Farms.
Joe Salman, the youngest son of three children who grew up on the ranch came home to join the effort after graduating from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a degree in BioResource and Agricultural Engineering and has managed the development of the winery and also manages winery operations.
Before envisioning a family winery, the Salman’s had great success with wine buyers such as E. & J. Gallo and Simi Winery in Sonoma County, Pine Ridge Vineyards and Beaulieau Vineyard in Napa Valley, Jeff Runquist Wines in Amador County, and nearby Lodi and Clarksburg wineries including Bogle Vineyards. Runquist produces a Salman Vineyard designated Petite Sirah that regularly wins top awards in wine competitions.
In 2007, the Salman family developed their first commercial wine, a red blend called Sutter Island Red, which was produced at nearby Scribner Bend Winery. In 2012, they began producing varietal wines at Estate Crush, a custom-crush facility in Lodi, CA and sees production of roughly 1,000 cases a year. Initially, all wines are being released under the Bridgehead brand, which is named for the nearby historic Steamboat Slough Bridge that was built in 1924 and is visible from the tasting room entrance and grounds.
The Salman’s have been active members of the Clarksburg Growers & Vintners Association, serving on its board of directors while promoting area efforts benefiting the community and all growers. Grand Island Vineyards will be included on the Clarksburg Wine Country visitor map and in promotions, as well as joining the Sacramento River Delta Grown, to be part of its Delta Farm and Winery Trail Guide.
MEET JOE AND LENAYA SALMAN
Owners/Operations Manager/Events Manager
Joe Salman is in charge of running Grand Island Vineyards and Salman Farms on a day to day basis.
Graduating from the University of California, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Agricultural Engineering, Joe has grown up on the Delta experiencing Vineyards and Wine Making his whole life and is proud to share the rewards of their labors by creating wines that showcase the GIV distinctive grapes perfectly.
Lenaya Salman is in charge of all the wonderful, exciting events at Grand Island Vineyards, including Live Music, Classic Car Shows, the Vineyard Harvest Dinner and Paint and Pinot events, as well as all Tours and Tastings.
Together, they set a solid foundation to enjoy truly distinctive wines that are consistent with the 45 years of preparation by parents Enver and Cynthia Salman.
MEET ED SEIKEL
Grand Island Winemaker
Ed was born in Akron, Ohio and attended Harvey S. Firestone High School and currently lives in Sacramento, over in Curtis Park with his lovely wife Katie. Besides being one of GIV’s fabulous Winemakers, Ed also does Vine to Bottle Technical Consulting for other wineries. Having graduated from Bowling Green with a Double Major in Chemistry and Biology, Ed also attended UC Davis Graduate School with a ph-d in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology! This Brainiac, along with partner in crime David Shattuck who we will profile in future editions, is a large reason why we are so very pleased with the quality of our fabulous wines. And crops. And pretty much everything else.
Before being an extraordinary winemaker, Ed worked as a Lab Manager for the Clarksburg Wine Company where he came to love Grand Island Vineyards while working with GIV/Salman fruits. Ed often likes to say it was the quality of the fruit which caught his attention, thanks to both Joe and Enver Salman’s tireless efforts. His personal favorite GIV wine, which is saying a lot, is the Sauvignon Blanc and his favorite non-GIV wines are the 2010 CWC Cab Reserve from the Salman Home Ranch and Evil Twin Heretic Beer. In typical friends and family style, Ed likes to enjoy his wine (and beer) during a BBQ with family and friends. Destined for greatness, Ed was born at the same hospital as Lebron James and Stephen Curry and used to race jet skis in his spare time.
MEET DAVID SHATTUCK
Meet the other fabulous Grand Island Winemaker David Shattuck! David has been working with partner Ed Seikel since January 2017 in creating new and wonderful Grand Island and BRIDGEHEAD wines.
David lives in Davis with wife Jamie and Bret their Shetland Sheep dog since 2003, where he graduated (from Davis) with a degree in Bio Chemistry. Before this, David lived in Livermore and Denver, Colorado.
Previous past work includes working at Lawrence Livermore Labs with many of our customers, at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale working on military lasers and then winemaker in Clarksburg. David met partner winemaker Ed in 2004 at Davis, during a recruitment weekend at Davis.
MEET SHERRY STANLEY
MEET COUSIN BRIAN SUTHERLAND
Grand Island Vineyards Marketing and Public Relations
Brian has been operating professionally on a 20+ year international basis, developing coordinated electronic marketing and publicity campaigns for a variety of clients, including Van Gogh Vodka, PETA, William Hill Gaming Company, Cardiology Agencies, Hospitals, Fox Radio, several Universities, a well-known pharmaceutical company, Northern Nevada/California Law Enforcement and most notably, the State of the World Forum, a community outreach program in conjunction with SOWF President Jim Garrison, Al Gore, Jane Goodall and Mikhail Gorbachev.
Brian is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno with a B.A. in Journalism/Public Relations and holds specialty certifications in Digital Marketing from Marquette University and Sports Industry Management from Columbia University. Currently he is Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Sierra Nevada Bioscience, working directly under company CEO Dr. Michael Nelson D.C., pioneer in the emerging Smart Drug industry.
Most recently, Brian was the Executive Producer of the multiple, award-winning film Nowhere Nevada and its soundtrack which received a five-year international distribution deal in late 2015. Brian previously ran his own electronic marketing/PR agency more commonly known as Virtual Reality Public Relations or Sutherland PR, working with such clients as the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, South Lake Tahoe PD, the Regional Public Safety Training Center and Century 21 Corporate.
MEET CAMEO KING
Wine Club Ambassador
Meet Cameo King, one of our great staff and Wine Club member since early this summer. Cameo resides in Courtland, CA and has a great connection with everyone at Grand Island Vineyrads and the wonderful customers she has great conversations with. Cameo has an Associates in Art and is pursuing her Bachelor’s in Interior Design!
Cameo came to love Grand Island Vineyards one Sunday when she was driving with her boyfriend JJ and they stopped by to taste some wine. Having loved both the wine and the experience so much, she signed up with Connie and became members that very day. They really look forward to the After Dark Events because they can sit back and relax, take in the beautiful views and drink the fabulous Grand Island Vineyards wines. Her favorite wines are the Cab Franc, RED blend and the Pinot Noir. Her non-GIV favorite wine is the Coppola Claret Black Label.
Cameo and JJ enjoy these wines sipping on their boat dock at sunset. A fun fact about Cameo is she loves to go antique shopping and shoe shopping, but then again, who doesn’t after a few glasses of wine 😉
MEET MARCIANO MOTILLA
Vineyard Worker Supervisor
Meet Marciano Motilla, our Vineyard Worker Supervisor at Grand Island Vineyards. Marciano is incredibly valuable to our operations! He is the only other person besides our Operations Manager who sees every field and block during the growing season. Without Marciano, our wine would not be nearly as amazing as it has become over the years.
Marciano has been a part of our family for some time now since joining us in 1990 as a seasonal harvester. In 1997 he joined our family year round and is currently both a Supervisor at GIV and a Harvester Driver for Salman Farms, the Sutter Island “Home Ranch.” Funny story…… Marciano originally came to love Grand Island Vineyards during the five years his mother spent working at Salman Farms! Small world indeed.
Marciano was born in Manila, Philippines where he lived for 13 years before moving with his mother to Kaui, Hawaii. From there he went to Florida where he began working in Landscaping. This later took him to California where he worked in Golf Course Landscape Irrigation. After that, Marciano got into Electronics in Milpitas, CA and later worked for the San Jose School District doing Food Delivery. Finally he realized his true passion as he worked for Sebastiani Winery (Turner Road Winery) doing seasonal work. He was also employed by Unilab as a delivery driver! As you can tell, Marciano has always worked very hard, and his employment at Grand Island Vineyards has been no exception.
His favorite wine, just like many of us is the Grand Island Rosé, and he also really enjoys a variety of Bogle Red Wines. Typically he enjoys his wine after a long day’s work and just before dinner. We joke he’s most likely thinking back to his younger years on the beach in the Philippines, since it’s been 17 years since he’s been back! H e says it’s always very hot and humid in the Philippines, and when you take a shower, you’re already sweating again before you get out! Marciano really enjoys the delta breeze here at the Winery, which works out really nicely for all of us. Marciano is a very hard worker and a very nice man. If you ever get a chance to say hello, you will be glad you did.
All of us here at Grand Island Vineyards are proud to not only call Marciano an employee and a friend, but a true member of our family as well.
MEET SHANNON NELSON
Wine Club Ambassador
Not everyone can say they’ve known the Salman family seeming from the beginning of time. As a 5th generation Delta farm owner and neighbor of the Salman’s, Shannon has vast experience growing grapes, pears and cherries, as well as a fondness for everything Delta, especially agriculture, wine and the Salman family.
She has been a wine club member since 2016 and has even known Tess for over 20 years. A year ahead of Joe in school, she remembers Cyn from the secretary days at elementary school here on Sutter Island and as a reliable bunco partner to the family.
Shannon has been a wine Tasting Room Ambassador since May 2021 and prefers the Bridgehead Bubbles for brunch, the Cabernet Franc in a fireplace setting and White wines/Roséfor some summertime fun! Beyond GIV wines, she really likes the Berghold Winery out of Lodi.
Known as an animal lover and rescuer, Shannon has past experiences working as a vet tech, a wedding coordinator for Grand Island Mansion and doing HR for Marriott Hotels. She was educated here in the area from Sac City Community College and Elite Academy Cosmetology and just loves everything Delta, beyond those times when she fondly remembers Santa Cruz. You’re always welcome to come and meet Shannon, to share some wine and get to know another great person who we are proud to call a friend.