Here at Greenvale, we’re proud to say we have 24,000 growing vines, and one heck of a vineyard manager. Hever Ortega , our resident “grapes-keeper,” gives T.L.C. to each and every vine while overseeing landscaping efforts with a smile.
The charismatic senior vineyard crew member has been well-respected around these parts since 1992, when he started as a part-time assistant. He’s no stranger to hard work; raised on a cattle farm, Hever rolled up his sleeves in a factory, Christmas tree farm, and planting and mowing as a landscaper before arriving at Greenvale.
The vineyard was just getting up and running, and it didn’t take long for him to become a central part of the team. Hever was promoted to vineyard manager in 1994. “They liked my work, and I liked it here. Now, I do all things; spraying, harvesting, planting, growing vines.” And this time of year, he’s just finished hedging and may fit in some well-deserved R&R with a glass of his favorite, Skipping Stone White.
It’s the plush open space he calls his office, combined with great growing potential—literally and professionally—that fulfills him here. “I like working with living things, plants,” he shares with pride. “I’m happy to see them growing. I learn more every year, and every year is different.” It sure is…that’s New England for you! In his 10 years and counting, the weather has presented the biggest challenge. It’s best to have Mother Nature on your side, Hever explains. “We can have a whole good year but then get rain at the end, which can affect the harvest.”
But Hever says he couldn’t do it alone, and the fantastic views certainly add motivation. “It’s a nice place with a water view. People really like our wines, and we work together here in everything we do. We make sure everybody’s on the same page.” Next time you pop by to see us, think about the man helping to nurture grapes from the ground to your glass.