Windy Oaks was founded in 1996 by Jim and Judy Schultze, when they returned to California after living overseas for 7 years in Australia and Europe. On a windy ridge in Corralitos, overlooking Monterey Bay, they planted their first three acres of vines.
As part of the family-owned business, Jim and Judy’s sons–James and Spencer–grew up learning the winery business intimately. During teenage summers and college breaks, they worked in the vineyard, winery, and tasting rooms.
Jim came to winemaking a little later in his professional career. As a corporate lawyer in southern California, and a management consultant for several worldwide consulting firms, he always had an interest in wine. When he lived in Australia, he visited wineries and even helped with harvest one season; when he lived in London, he and his wife Judy visited vineyards and wineries on the Continent.
Upon returning to California and moving out to the country where the adjacent land had been an old apple orchard, Jim rehabilitated the land and planted his first three acres of pinot noir. Concurrently, he completed the winemaking certification program at the University of California at Davis, enhancing his knowledge on winemaking and the finer points of grape growing. This self-education continues to this day, and he and Judy visit Burgundy almost every year to meet with barrel makers and visit wineries of interest.
With Jim as Winemaker, Windy Oaks produced its first vintage of Pinot Noir in 1999. The next year, they built the new winery building and continued to expand their Pinot Noir plantings, while also planting an acre of Chardonnay. Today, they farm almost 30 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah.
Marketing and WineGroup Manager
Judy shares her husband’s love of winemaking and all things oenological. Her background in marketing consulting has been an asset in developing their WineGroup (wine club) and promoting their business. Customer service is a hallmark of Windy Oaks, and Judy answers all emails personally.
Manager, Monterey Bay tasting rooms
After several years of European travel, and graduating from college, James settled down in the Monterey area. He now manages the two Windy Oaks urban tasting rooms in Carmel and Carmel Valley. During high school and college, James worked in the winery tasting room, poured at industry events, and honed his skills working with the public, customer service, and marketing initiatives.
While in college studying political science, Spencer worked for several fine dining restaurants, learning about wine, customer service, and producing a high-quality product. After working in the family business part-time during harvest, he decided he would like to join Windy Oaks full time. He then spent 6 months in France, working as an intern for Jean Marc Brocard, the premier Chablis producer in Burgundy. Upon returning home, he completed the University of California at Davis winemaking program and received his certification in enology and viticulture.
Spencer now manages the day-to-day winemaking operations, supervises harvest crush operations and harvest interns, and often works in the winery tasting room on weekends.
Assistant Marketing Manager and Staff Coordinator
Jamie and Spencer were married in the vineyard in June 2018. With the growth of the Wine Group, Jamie assists Judy with processing and shipping the wine club quarterly and semi-annual shipments. She also manages and supervises all staffing for the winery tasting room, and works with Spencer on marketing to a growing, younger customer base.
During her 20s, Jamie worked in restaurants, learning the importance of customer service. More recently, her background in creating and developing her Etsy site has contributed to her experience in online marketing, shipping, and distribution, which she has readily applied to Windy Oaks procedures.