“Home: a place where something flourishes or from which it originates”
The family business brings us home. While each of the five Traver children has a career outside of Traver Home Winery, working together in the vineyard or winery provides a deep connection to the land and to each other.
Grandchildren (the youngest generation)
Grandchildren love watching, learning and helping* at all stages. Sometimes this means riding along with Grandpa to the vineyard to check on the vines, or helping carry boxes of empty bottles to the bottling room. Sometimes this means splashing each other and bopping to music while washing and sterilizing bottles. Sometimes this means getting dirty – er, juicy – while pressing fresh grapes or punching down the cap. Sometimes this means helping lay or pick up bird netting or picking grapes during harvest times. And for those who are old enough to maintain a regular paid position, this means many hours of sweat while mowing and watering the vineyard, bottling and labeling finished product, and the many tedious tasks associated with maintaining a family business.
Children (the 30 and 40 something crowd)
Each of the older members of the family contributes to the wine tasting and approval process. This includes sampling wines at various stages of production to gauge the optimum bottling time and best mix of flavors, noting which food pairings most effectively show off each wine, and sampling other wineries’ products to maintain an unbiased palate.
A few family members with interest in the finer details behind the art of wine making attend classes to expand their knowledge base and appreciation, from planting, pruning and vine care to the chemistry of fine-tuning a taste effect. Those who love interacting with the public offer regular wine tasting events in retail outlets. Those with physical strength and energy help with heavy duty tasks like clearing land, putting up fences, and planting in rocky hillsides, or unloading vats of grapes and pressed juice. Those with technical savvy assist with photography and online development. Those with connections to fair trade industry in Thailand source handmade paper bags as an option to beautify your purchases. Even a family member from France visits for several weeks per year to help with autumn harvest and special projects.
The Vintners (when retirement allows the pursuit of passion)
One of the great treasures of spending time at Traver Home Winery is deepening relationship with the patriarch, Jim Traver, and his wife, Bobbi. The youngest generation have reported many moments of surprising levity when their pop culture and teenage concerns collide with Grandpa’s more seasoned outlook. Life lessons imparted through the quality time and bonding of working side by side include Jim’s unmistakable honesty, loyalty, work ethic and honor.
In a way, Jim’s interest in wine making reflects his origins and a thread that has woven throughout his life. Raised on a farm by Depression-era parents, Jim watched his mother canning vegetables every summer to supply the family’s dinner table through the winter. The importance of letting nothing go to waste was ingrained. This showed itself in the early 1970’s while Jim and Bobbi were stationed in England; their yard was filled with rose bushes and Jim could hardly stand to see the petals “go to waste.” Rose petal wine seemed a fitting solution; soon glass jugs with airlocks bubbled away on top of the kitchen cabinets. Bobbi, the quality control officer, notes that while Jim thoroughly enjoyed that first wine making project, his wine making skills have dramatically improved in recent years!
After retiring from the Navy, Jim returned to his roots as a farmer. He also taught high school chemistry for several years, and carried out his own chemistry experiments in the basement: beer and wine making. Finally he graduated from wine kits to using fresh grapes, and he and Bobbi decided to launch a new career during their retirement.
*In Missouri, underage family members can participate in non-tasting activities while under adult supervision