Steven and Allison Whiteside are the proprietors of Bella Vida Vineyard. Drawn to the Dundee Hills by a friendship with David and Suzanne Maresh, they were blessed to develop a special relationship with David’s parents, Jim and Loie (Dundee Hills pioneers) who provided deep inspiration and guidance. It was these relationships that set the roots of Bella Vida, a truly “beautiful life.” Allison (President of the Wines) and her two brothers traveled the world as a result of her father being in the Armed Forces. Her most memorable stay was during high school in Italy. She currently practices as a pediatric physical therapist in Tucson, when not managing the tasting room, wine sales and a myriad of other operational responsibilities. Steven (President of the Vines), one of eight boys and two girls, was born in Soaplake, Washington and spent several years along the Oregon Coast prior to moving to Arizona with his family. He has two sons, Stephen Jr. and Ryan, who visit when they can and assist with the many vineyard chores that accompany the “beautiful life.” Steven specializes in pediatric orthotics and prosthetics in Tucson when he is not tending to daily vineyard challenges during the growing season. Steven and Allison have always enjoyed the camaraderie that surrounds the community effort of farming in the Dundee Hills. To be able to share this experience is a true blessing and good fortune.
Oh, by the way if you are thinking of getting into the “hands-on” vineyard/wine business, the only thing romantic about it is the wine. The rest is all work, hard work. Just something to consider when you are feeling romantic. Ah, enlightenment.
Ted Leroy Crawford
A man seemingly born in the vineyard, Ted managed our vines for many years and became the most reliable member of our team. Whether it was gopher control (a story in itself ) or presenting our finest Pinot in the tasting room, Ted was always there. Both a hands-in-the-dirt farmer and a vineyard gentleman, Ted's humble demeanor and contagious smile is a deeply entrenched part of our vineyard's personality and character. While we lost Ted in 2012, he is with us everyday as we look out across the vines. More than our vineyard care taker, more than Steven's right hand man repairing or maintaining equipment or amending soils, Ted was our family.
In Ted's honor we are developing a special signature TLC Pinot Noir to support a technical scholarship fund. To be sure the wine truly reflects Ted, we are allowing it to age properly, gain some deep character and establish flavors that will put a smile on everyone's face. Keep your glass ready for the release of TLC because if Ted has his way, our tasting pours will be just a bit more generous than normal.
Mesmery Blake Director of Hospitality, Education & Sales Animal Lover, Star Wars Nerd Food & Wine Snob