We had a dream and it came true…
Chad and Linda, sharing an unbridled enthusiasm for fine food and wine followed their hearts to wine country, tasting and touring around the globe. They only imagined living the dream in the countryside, getting back to their roots; riding their horses, tending their garden, loving the land and growing and harvesting grapes. After the two married in 1998 Chad and Linda Kearns connected with best friends and fellow philanthropists Michael and Donna Cipolla to make wine. As hobby wine makers Michael now jokes with Chad, “The first year we taught them and the second year they taught us.” That was the year that Chad put his doctorate in Pharmacy to the test using his background in chemistry to take a winning medal for their 2001 Zinfandel at the OC Fair.
As their wine interest grew, so did their production and the couple who once made wine at home now made hobby wine out of a warehouse. They diligently honed their cooking skills, traveled throughout the US, Italy and France, wining and dining their way through the wine regions. The two knew a winery would one day be in their future. Seriously considering starting a winery in France, they even looked at property in Bordeaux. Realizing they could not leave their family and friends in Southern California they took to the rolling hills, beautiful oak trees, warm days and cool evenings of Central California where Chad grew up. After weekend over weekend of travel back and forth to Central California, the couple realized that only their grapes would come from Paso Robles and they would remain in Orange County.
After over a decade of visiting Silverado-Modjeska the Kearns dream became a reality. With their 4 children, two horses and 4 dogs in tow, the Kearns rescued a 10 acre historic horse ranch right in their own backyard in Silverado Orange County, California January 2005. With a feeling of being so far yet so close to home right in the heart of Orange County, the Kearns knew that this would be home to their winery, Giracci Vineyards and Farms named for Linda’s maiden ancestral name. The struggle to repair the property, right the permits and gain permission was a bureaucratic challenge, however passion won out and the rest is history.
Giracci Vineyards and Farms opened in 2010 and went on to win several awards including gold and double gold medals in LA, San Francisco and Orange County. The Kearns brought a rustic yet elegance charm to the old Jackson Ranch …and a dream.
Chad Kearns – Owner & Winemaker
As president of Giracci Vineyards and Farms, Chad oversees all the operations, wine development and the wine-making. Born and raised in Central California, Chad grew up with a love of wine. After earning a Doctorate in Pharmacy at the University of Pacific in Stockton, CA, and spending his free time touring the wine country, he completed his clinical work at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Chad then moved to Orange County, where he met his wife Linda and started a family, which remains the most important part of his life. Prior to opening Giracci Vineyards and Farms, Chad’s career was focused on the medical industry; he serves as a medical consultant and owns a home-care pharmacy providing medical care for extremely ill patients, as well as a small retail pharmacy.
Throughout the years, Chad maintained his love of wine and the outdoors, spending his free time doing gardening, skiing, and making wine as a hobby with his wife and close friends. Finally, after 20 years in Orange, Chad achieved his dream of owning a winery. Since winemaking is its own brand of science, Chad’s background in chemistry made him a natural. “The best part about working out at Giracci is that you get to visually see your accomplishments, and there’s a good feeling about that,” he said. “It’s pretty much the opposite of my experience in the medical field, where my work generally doesn’t have immediate, tangible results.”
Of all of his awards and accomplishments, Chad’s favorites are those they received for each of their wines at the 2009 San Francisco and Los Angeles Wine and Spirits Competitions. He is thrilled he was able to turn a beloved hobby into a pleasurable business venture, and is excited for the future of Giracci Vineyards and Farms!
Linda Grace – Co-Owner
Born in New York City, Linda grew up with a love of wine. Her grandparents, both from Italy where the family owned a vineyard, gave Linda an appreciation for wine and its nuances from the time she was a child. About a decade ago, Linda and Chad began making wine with friends as a hobby. “We always joke with them that the first year, they taught us about wine-making, and the second year we taught them,” laughs Linda. Because wine was an integral part of her upbringing, Linda felt it was important to pass on the wine heritage to her children, taking them on trips abroad to visit vineyards in Europe and North America.
Finally, Linda and Chad realized their dream of opening their own winery and equestrian center with Giracci Vineyards and Farms, located in Orange County’s scenic Santiago Canyon. While she loves the hustle and bustle of the city, she’s never as content anywhere as she is out on the farm. “I love the ambiance. It’s so relaxing and natural. When I’m there, it feels like I’m miles away from the stress of everyday life,” explains Linda. “It’s like I’m sitting in Napa or Tuscany, watching the horses run, with the convenience of being right in Orange County.”
Linda brings more than 20 years of marketing, business consulting and management experience to her role as vice president and secretary of Giracci Vineyards and Farms. Linda has more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry, and is a Registered Nurse with a B.S. in Health Administration. She and husband Chad own and operate a medical consulting business, independent retail pharmacy and pharmaceutical homecare service in Orange County, as well as dedicating their time to a lovely family that includes four children, several dogs and, of course, horses.