Our Story

The Schmidt Family

Schmidt Family Vineyards, owned by Judy and Cal Schmidt, began with a life-long dream of farming the land. Cal’s great love and passion for wine and wine making made grapes the obvious crop. Cal grew up on a wheat farm in Kansas. A successful businessman, he began taking classes in viticulture and wine making in his spare time. In 2000, the old Bennett Ranch on the fertile Kubli Bench was purchased and became the setting for what is now the Schmidt Family Vineyards

Vineyards of Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon were planted in 2001. The first vintage consisting of 300 cases, was produced in 2004 and released in 2006. The wines were very well received and quickly sold out. The 2005 harvest yielded about 1200 cases. We are now up to approximately 5,500 cases. New vineyards have been added, which include lesser known varietals such as Albarino, and Tempranillo, of Spanish origin. Other varietals include Barbera, an Italian varietal, and Malbec, a Bordeaux varietal.

Along with the fertile vineyards, and a large picturesque pond, several acres of herb and flower gardens, gazebos, and walking paths have been created which are available for private events.

The newest addition is the network of walking trails named for Cal and Judy’s Great Grandchildren. We invite you to explore and even find the perfect picnic spot to enjoy your wine!

The tasting room is elegant and hospitable and is finished in a craftsmen style. This room is a very welcoming place to sit and enjoy the wines.

Cal Schmidt Owner, Wine Maker

Originally from Kansas, Cal moved to the area in 1992 and to Schmidt Family Vineyards in 2000. Owner of 2 family businesses, he fortunately has 2 children! His son, Jim, runs North Western Design which manufactures commercial cabinetry. Rene, his daughter, is Tasting Room Manager and Wine Maker here at SFV. Many of his grandchildren and their spouses work in both businesses as well!

Wine and wine making have always been a passion for Cal. Realizing his lifelong dream of owning a vineyard, making wines that are well loved is a great pleasure to him.

His involvement as Vice President of Applegate Valley Oregon Vintners’ Association, and Founder of World of Wine show his avid support of Southern Oregon Wines.

Cal loves to travel to wine regions of the world such as Spain, Italy and France.

Judy Schmidt Owner, Grounds Designer

Originally from Penna, New York, Judy is a graduate of the University of Oregon. She moved to Oregon with her family in 1992 and then to SFV in 2000. As parents of two children, she and Cal have 9 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren!

Judy has been a Marriage and Family Therapist (10 years) and continues to be the accountant for both family businesses. She spends many of her days enjoying gardening and quality time with the little children of the family. With her husband, daughter, grandsons, granddaughter and daughter-in-law all working at the vineyard, she obviously adores working with family!

Judy loves the Applegate community and places great importance on building relationships with local wineries.

The Family
(Left to Right) Spencer Brons, Jesse Brons, Rene Brons, Judy Schmidt, Duncan Brons, Cal Schmidt
Spencer Brons, Head Chef

Spencer is from Santa Rosa, CA but has spent most of his life in Southern Oregon. He is a graduate of Hidden Valley High School.

Cal and Judy have two family businesses. As their grandson (Rene’s son), he has experience working for both of them. At North Western Design he worked as a Draftsman and Project Manager. Here at Schmidt Family Vineyards he especially enjoys working behind the scenses to create the next culinary masterpiece for the Schmidt Family Vineyard’s Wine Club.

Spencer shows a creative side as well. He is a musician, artist, and loving father of 3 children.

Iagan, Paxton and baby brother Quinten are often seen playing together on the grounds with their cousins.

 

Jesse Brons, Marketing/Sales

Born and raised in Grants Pass, Jesse is the newest addition to the family business. After 4 years of service in the Marine Corp, Doug and Rene’s youngest son moved home to work at the family winery. 

Jesse works closely with all sides of the business to show the hard work each member puts in. Although most of his days are spent in the office or behind a camera, he can still be found in the vineyard putting in his fair share of tractor work.

With Jesse’s recent engagement to his beautiful fiance Kelli, they are now working together to start a future of their own.

Rene Brons, Tasting Room Director/Lab Analysis/Winemaker/Sommelier

Rene, Cal and Judy’s daughter, was born in San Diego. She moved to this area with her family in 1992 where her and her husband Doug have 3 sons. 

Rene has a broad spectrum of education including Nursing, Phlebotomy, Viticulture,  Enology, and her most recent accomplishment, becoming a Level 1 Sommelier. She and her son Duncan have become winemakers going through the school together. At the winery she is involved in almost every aspect of the business.

Rene’s many interests include knitting, painting, sewing, and especially being a Grandma! With 5 grandchildren, you can often see her in the Tasting Room in action with one of them in her arms.

Rene adores both drinking wine and wine making. She loves Southern Oregon and watching the growth of the wine industry in this area.

 

Duncan Brons, Cellar Master/Asst. Winemaker

Duncan is one of the 3rd generation family members working at Schmidt Family Vineyards. Born in Santa Rosa, he moved to the area with his parents and grandparents as a child. A graduate of Hidden Valley, he has nearly completed his Vintner’s Degree at UCC.

Duncan lives in the Applegate Valley with his wife Tasha,  daughter Presley, son Ronan, and pug Olive . Duncan’s great passions are his family, wine, and his work at the vineyard. He enjoys working with his grandparents, Mom, brothers, and cousins.. Making something that the public appreciates is very rewarding to him.

He has hopes that his kids may one day choose to become part of the family tradition!

Heather Carlino, Wine Club Manager/ Bookkeeper

Originally from Santa Rosa, CA, Heather graduated from Hidden Valley High School. She is granddaughter to Cal and Judy and has worked at the vineyard for several years.

Heather moved to Oregon in 1992 and is married to Steve Carlino. They have two daughters, Liliana Belle and Hazel Rose. She enjoys dance, crocheting, and the outdoors.

“I feel very blessed to be a part of the Schmidt Family and staff. My first priority is being a mother to my sweet little girls, and I am so glad that my job allows me to have a fulfilling career and be a mother!”

Tasha Brons, Tasting Room Staff

Born and raised in Grants Pass, Tasha is Cal and Judy’s granddaughter (married to Duncan). She and her family love the lifestyle of farming, wine, and community that comes with living and working at Schmidt Family Vineyards. She and Duncan married in 2006. Family is important to Tasha and she is very happy that her children will get to be raised in this environment.