James was born and raised in a rural farming community just outside of Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). At an early age he would follow his grandfather around on the family ranch and learn the sense of pride and satisfaction that comes with working the land in a family farming business. In 1992, James graduated with a degree in Economics from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia and started in the wine business (with Vincor International), the day after his college graduation. Over the next seven years, he quickly developed a deep passion for the industry, rising from the ranks of sales representative, assistant brand manager, brand manager, marketing director and then Vice President of Marketing. As luck would have it, James’ wine career in Canada resulted in occasional business trips to the Bay Area where he met his future wife, Colleen Cramsie, through a mutual friend.
James moved to San Francisco to be with Colleen just one year from the day they met—they married exactly a year later. It was the year that they married (in 2000) that James & Colleen purchased their 11-acre property on Silverado Trail and went to work on realizing their dreams. Marriage and planting a new vineyard was just the beginning for James that year—he also left the comforts of corporate America to veer off and start his own company with his good friend, Jim Regusci, producing several wines from various parts of the Napa Valley. James has become a highly-regarded, well-respected vintner in the Napa Valley. However spending time with his wife, Colleen, daughter Marleigh and son Tyson, brings him the greatest joy in life.