History

  • 1892

     

    Immigrated to America

    David Garrod, his wife Sophia and children: Ralph Vince (R.V.), Harold, and Mary (Maisie), immigrated to America from Southern England in 1892.

  • 1893

    Garrod Farms Established

    Garrod Farms was established in 1893 with the purchase of 66 acres from the Mt. Eden Orchard and Vineyard Company. The family made a living by working for neighbors, cutting wood to sell in San Jose, and ultimately planting orchards of prunes and apricots. For decades Garrod Farms produced dried prunes and apricots, like much of the Santa Clara Valley, which was then known as “The Valley of Heart’s Delight.”

     

    1893

  • 1916

     

    R.V. Garrod married Emma Stolte

    In 1916, when R.V. was 42, he married Emma Stolte, 33, the daughter of Ferdinand Stolte, a German sea captain immigrant. Emma was born in an apartment over a saloon in San Francisco, which her father owned and worked. Her father ultimately deemed it imprudent to raise daughters over a bar and moved the family to a small farm on the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains. R.V. and Emma lived on Garrod Farms after marriage, and added acreage plus children until they had 240 acres of apricots, prunes, and hay fields plus Louise, Vince, and Richard.

  • 1922

    Fruit House Built

    The family purchased the building from the Los Gatos railroad depot, where it originally served as a warehouse when trains went over the Santa Cruz Mountains near what today is Highway 17. The building was taken apart, the pieces moved here, and then rebuilt in its present location with the aid of cousin Wayne Ware, a carpenter by trade. The Fruit House was primarily used to store dried fruit before it went to market, as well as a location to hold meetings and host square dances after harvest.

     

    1922

  • 1941

     

    Louise Garrod married George Cooper, January 1941

    Louise married George Cooper, whom she met at UC Berkeley. Louise and George went on to have four children: Bill, Jim, Barbara, and David.

  • 1941

    Vince Garrod married Jane Whiteman, May 1941

    Vince married Jane Whiteman, whom he met in the eighth grade here in Saratoga, CA. They went on to have six children: Peter, Tim, Jan, Vicky, Emma, and Christina.

     

    1941

  • 1954

     

    Richard Garrod married Edna May Duddy

    Dick married Edna May Duddy, whom he met while working as a lobbyist for the California Farm Bureau in Sacramento, CA. They did not have children, but were very fond of their nephews and nieces. This wedding photo is the one Edna May kept in her wallet her entire life long.

  • 1962

    The Stables opened for business with the purchase of 10 horses

    With the decline of agriculture and development of Santa Clara Valley following World War II, the Garrods moved away from dried fruit, which no longer paid the bills. Aging orchards were replaced with stables, offering boarding as well as trail rides and lessons. This core equestrian business continues to this day!

     

    1962

  • 1964

     

    The Covered Main Arena Built

    The Covered Main Arena was built in 1964, along with both the Sequoia and Madrone Barns. The Main Arena continues to provide a space for lessons and horse shows, whatever the weather; while the new barns provided more stalls for the growing horse boarding business.

  • 1969

    Vaulting at Garrod Farms

    The sport of Vaulting – gymnastics on horseback – came to Garrod Farms in 1969, brought in by Jane Garrod, who felt it would be a strong addition to the equestrian activities already offered on the ranch.  Today the Mt. Eden Vaulting Club continues to make its home here, winning medals in both national and international competitions.

     

    1969

  • 1972

     

    The first vineyard planted

    Then followed the addition of grapes, planting Cabernet Sauvignon cuttings from the nearby Paul Masson Vineyard. George Cooper served as the founding winemaker, with his nephew Jan Garrod managing the vines. Winemaking began as a retirement hobby for George after an almost-30-year NASA Test Pilot career at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field. For the better part of two decades, growing grapes and making wine was a family pastime.

  • 1972

    Start of involvement in Open Space

    1972 also marked the start of the family’s long involvement in Open Space, as Vince Garrod helped to found the Midpeninsula Open Space District. In the early 1980s, the Garrod Family sold and gifted 120 acres to the Midpeninsula District. This act enables continued use of the land for bridle trails and public hiking, as a part of the Fremont Older Open Space Preserve today.

     

    1972

  • 1975

     

    Bird Flat Ranch purchased by the Garrods

    Bird Flat Ranch, located just outside of Susanville, CA, was purchased by the Garrods as a place for the family to grow their own hay for the horse operation. Today it is run by Tim Garrod and his son Luke Garrod.

  • 1993

    The family celebrated the centennial of Garrod Farms.

     

    1993

  • 1994

     

    Fruit House opens as Tasting Room

    The first vintage of Cooper-Garrod wine was released in the spring; the Tasting Room opened to the public that fall.  What had started as a hobby and pastime was now part of the family business. Today you see two labels at our place. Varietals carry the Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards designation, and the Test Pilot series present our blends, each one unique and named for a specific aircraft that George Cooper flew as a Test Pilot.

  • 2008

    Certified Organic

    California Certified Organic Farming (CCOF) practices began with George’s Vineyard in 2005; this portion of vineyard continued the three-year transition and achieved CCOF Certified Organic status in 2008. We also transitioned our other vineyards, and all 28 acres of vines were recognized as CCOF certified by 2011 – a designation we maintain.

     

    2008

  • 2010

     

    Add Certified Sustainable

    In the early 2000s, Bill Cooper joined the Wine Institute/California Association of Winegrape Growers’ Joint Committee on Sustainability, tasked with developing the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices. As part of the pilot program designed in part by Bill Cooper, in 2010 Cooper-Garrod was one of the first three wineries in the state of California to become California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) Certified Sustainable. That designation has since expanded, and we are one of the few who are now Certified Sustainable in BOTH the winery AND the vineyards.

  • Today

    129+ Years of Operation

    Garrod Farms continues to be a family agriculture operation today, 129+ years and five generations later. Alongside the equestrian operation, 28 acres of vineyards flourish on the property. Jan Garrod is our General Manager, overseeing the stables, vineyard, and winery operations. Bill Cooper is our winemaker, his wife Doris Cooper handles Winery Marketing. Jan’s son Trevor Garrod serves as Cellar Master and Ranch Yard Foreman; Vicky Garrod Bosworth manages the Boarding, Lesson, and Summer Day Camp programs; Emma Garrod Seely directs the Mt. Eden Vaulting program. Vicky’s daughter Cory Bosworth manages the Tasting Room and Wine Club. Tim Garrod and his son Luke Garrod produce our hay at Bird Flat Ranch.

    The sixth-generation is growing up fast, too!  We welcome all to come experience our home at Garrod Farms.  It truly is “A Destination Worth Knowing!”™

     

    Today