Richard's involvement in the wine industry started early on. He was born into Napa Valley history.
Richard’s line dates back to the mid 19th century when his great-great-grandfather, David Fulton traveled around the horn from Vermont to arrive in Napa Valley in the summer of 1852. At that time there were six or seven homes in the north part of the valley. Mr. Fulton was looking for work and a chance at a good living because he had little more than just enough to carry him to his next day’s wages. He worked hard, winning respect in the community, and five years later accumulated enough local support to be appointed founder and trustee to the first church in St. Helena.
A year later with the town growing he invested in the fourth business on Main Street. It was called the Fulton Saddlery, and it stands today as the oldest building in St. Helena. He planted his first grapes in the lot just behind his business in 1858. Finally, two years later, David Fulton acquired enough cash to purchase 40 acres of land four blocks north of the Saddlery. Today the land hosts the oldest continuously owned and operated family vineyard in Napa Valley.
Richard is vice president and winemaker at the family winery in addition to being a consulting winemaker for ME Wine. Richard’s entrepreneurial experiences began in Sacramento when at 20 he founded a carpet cleaning company. About the same time, he co-founded an insurance company furthering his business experience. His career path led to managerial positions in the wine, food, restaurant and hospitality industries. He gained experience in all facets of the wine industry from cellar worker to compliance and shipping specialist, tasting room supervisor, and assistant winemaker at four different wineries before becoming winemaker at David Fulton Winery.
Returning to his roots in St. Helena to a vineyard and winery founded by his great-great-grandfather, Richard now wears the mantle of the fifth generation, protecting and promoting the vision of David Fulton 155 years ago. He is consumed by a passion for excellence and the excitement of producing artisan wines from different varietals and appellations to accompany the historic Petite Sirah of David Fulton Winery.
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