Horacio Ortega has worked the land at Patianna Organic Vineyard for twenty-three years, most of his adult life. He began working for the Fetzer family and continued as vineyard foreman when Patti Fetzer acquired the 126-acre ranch in 1998. “Horacio is intimate with every subtle nuance of our vineyard; he is a ‘natural’ when it comes to farming,” says Patti.
A native of Michoacán, Mexico, Horacio developed an appreciation of nature and a feel for farming as a young boy. He worked along side his father on the family farm in Cerro Colorado, cultivating guava, mango, watermelon, bananas, cucumbers and tomatoes. Horacio immigrated to the United States in 1984 and became a United States citizen in 2000.
Horacio lives on the Patianna ranch with his wife and three children. When not pruning, cultivating and tending to Patianna’s vines, Horacio keeps horses and raises Patianna’s chickens, goats and sheep. He enjoys maintaining his own vegetable gardens, always with his father’s farm in mind.