GRAND ISLAND VINEYARDS - MEET THE SALMAN and GIV FAMILY

The Salman family has been growing wine grapes for over 45 years, and after a decade of planning and collaboration, has officially 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 THE FAMILY
Bios added monthly from the GIV Bridge Newsletter


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 COURTNEY ELMORE - GIV Wine Tasting Ambassador

Courtney is the right-hand to Tasting Room Manager Tess Jonson and on the front lines of the GIV point of sale system. A Red Wine lover by nature whose favorite is the GIV Cab Franc, Courtney says.......  " The reason I am here is because of the true community happening in this place; the focus really is on the entire community prospering and I love knowing all the customers by name, their children and mutual activities as a lot of us have all grown up together. "  

Courtney has a B.S. in Business Administration that is very helpful to us and she  also works for the Department of Justice Cyber Crime Division. While she can't talk about everything she does professionally, she has some VERY interesting stories to share. We invite you to stop by and meet Courtney, you'll definitely be glad you did as her wine knowledge is quite impressive! 


MEET MELANIE "MEL" JONSON - GIV Wine Tasting Ambassador

Grand Island Vineyards has been lucky to have Mel on the GIV team since the end of 2016. Mel lives in Courtland and graduated Delta High School before attending Cosumnes River College as an art major, which is awesome, because Mel does all the wonderful chalkboard art featured at the Winery. Combining this with the fact that her family grows grapes as well, it's no wonder her highly qualified opinion results in telling guests and the public that the GIV wine is absolutely delicious! Mel knows the Courtland area well, having worked at Giusti's in the Delta and training many area dogs. She also worked at Northstar as a lift operator in her spare time. Mel chose GIV for a few interesting reasons, including the Wine Club Manager is her sister, Gayle is her mother, the Salman family has known her since kindergarten AND she went to school with Courtney. Her favorite GIV wine is the New Winemakers Blend with the Rosé as a close second; her favorite non-GIV wine is the Runquist Petite Sirah which pleasantly is made with Salman Grapes!

Mel enjoys taking a bottle and going out to dinner with friends, and loves Grand Island because the people are all friendly and likable, the staff are personable and easy to get along with in a great environment to learn new things every day.


MEET ED SEIKEL - GIV Winemaker

Meet Grand Island Winemaker Ed Seikel! 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 CONNIE DE MARS - GIV Wine Ambassador

Connie has been a member of the beloved GIV wine family member since May of 2016, and currently lives in Courtland working as a Home Chef. She has attended multiple colleges including MTI and Sac City, before working for Blue Diamond Almond for 25 years and also a building design center for 5 years. Being friends with Tess and Sherry before starting at GIV, she really came to love the Vineyards while driving by during construction and seeing the grounds flourish. After several passes, Connie decided she was going to try to get a job here, and WALLAH!

Her taste in wine is impeccable; her favorite GIV wine is the New Winemakers Blend and her favorite non-GIV wine is Twisted Rivers Raven. She likes to enjoy GIV wines when cooking, both internally and in the food which comes in handy because Connie really loves people and working at GIV affords her the opportunity to meet nice people every day. Stop by and introduce yourself, make a new friend and enjoy wonderful wines in a beautiful setting.


Enver and Mujiko Salman with friend John

Enver and Cynthia Salman - Winery Owners

Joe and Lenaya Salman - Winery Owners

David Shattuck and Ed Seikel - The Winemakers

Tess and Gayle Jonson - The Tasting Room

Brian L. Sutherland - Marketing/Communications

 

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12484 Highway 160, Walnut Grove CA 95690 - Directions/Maps - 916.775.2111

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