Richard A. “Dick” Vermeil was born in his great grandfather’s home in Calistoga, the northernmost town in the Napa Valley. His mother Alice, whose home was always open to those who loved good food, instilled a passion for family and friends in all four of her children. Louis, Dick’s father and owner-operator of The Owl Garage next to their home, instilled in Dick his passion for hard work, integrity, football, wine, and race cars. Louis’ old #7 car was just recently restored, with Dick doing a lot of the work himself.
Dick Vermeil’s talent as a high school quarterback led him off to Napa Junior College then on to San Jose State, providing him the time and opportunity to start defining his plan to become a football coach. Dick spent four years in high school coaching before moving into the Junior College ranks. After two seasons as a JC coach, one as an assistant and one as a head coach at Napa Community College, he moved on to Stanford University for four years before entering the NFL as the NFL’s first ever special teams coach with the Los Angeles Rams. Following four seasons with the Rams, he was hired to take over the head coaching job at UCLA. In his second year at UCLA, they won the Pack VIII Championship and went on to upset number one ranked Ohio State on January 1, 1976 in the Rose Bowl.
This victory led to Dick being hired to take over the head coaching responsibilities of the Philadelphia Eagles. In his third season, the Eagles initiated a four consecutive season playoff run that was highlighted by an NFC Championship in 1980 and a trip to Super Bowl XV.
Following the 1982 season, Dick Vermeil entered the football broadcasting field, spending five years with CBS Sports and another nine years with ABC.
In 1997, after a fourteen year NFL absence, Dick became Coach Vermeil once again by becoming the head coach of the St. Louis Rams. In three years the Rams went from being the losingest team in the NFL to the winner of Super Bowl XXXIV. Soon after retiring in 2000, Vermeil signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Dick holds the distinction of being named Coach of the Year in high school, junior college, Division I college, and NFL Coach of the Year twice.
If you've ever heard Coach Vermeil talk about the "7 Common Sense Principles of Leadership," you can download them here.
|Paul G. Smith, Winemaker
Crafting Vermeil Wines is our talented winemaker and OnThEdge Winery founder, Paul Smith. Paul earned his degree at CSU-Fresno in enology-viticulture and has over 30 years of experience in the wine field. He has held technical and management positions with companies including Joseph Phelps Vineyards and Robert Mondavi Corporation. During Paul’s 17 years with Mondavi, he was responsible for the technical development, facility design and project management of several internationally recognized, state-of-the-art facilities, including Opus One.
What Paul has achieved as a one-man operation to date is truly remarkable. With a new set of advanced tools at his disposal, it is thrilling to consider the potential for future Vermeil Wines offerings.
|Tom Ward, General Manager & Director of Sales
Tom brings a unique combination of in-depth wine knowledge, management experience, and sales expertise to his role at Vermeil Wines. After providing marketing consulting support in the late 1980s for Robert M. Parker, Jr. of The Wine Advocate, Tom’s passion for wine ultimately inspired him to launch a new career in the wine business where, in the last decade prior to joining Vermeil Wines, Tom worked with wines from five continents around the globe.
|MarySue Frediani, Tasting Room Manager
MarySue is the Manager of our Calistoga Wine Tasting Room, the home of Vermeil Wines and OnThEdge Winery. Those who have visited before know Mary Sue for her boundless energy; she is also the spouse of winemaker Paul Smith and a co-owner of Frediani Family Vineyards, the source of most of our spectacular fruit.