Meet Jake: Spycatcher Gone Winemaker

Meet Jake: Spycatcher Gone Winemaker

Meet Jake: Spycatcher Gone Winemaker

Meet Jake, our spycatcher gone winemaker. We fondly refer to him as our “Jake of All Trades” because he really has a hand in every part of our business and operations. You can find him getting nerdy about wine chemistry with Greg, working on marketing strategy with Tam, pouring concrete with Mike, and testing wines with Daniel, all the while with his goofy goldendoodle Brewer at his heels. Bed & Barrel’s diverse and honest work aligns with Jake’s priorities of family, simplicity, and community. However, not too long ago, he was breaking up espionage rings and traveling with POTUS. Nope, not kidding. This quiet, unassuming, small-town guy is wicked-smart and full of surprises.

Jake is a Lake County native, a Clear Lake High School graduate that dreamed of action and adventure outside of his little hometown. At 19 years-old and dusty from work at the local rock quarry, Jake walked into the Ukiah Army recruiter’s office. The only positions available were with the Armor Corps, aka tanks. The recruiter took a second glance at Jake’s aptitude scores and went to the back of the office to make a phone call. That phone call changed the course of Jake’s life and subsequently many others. Thank you Sergeant Acree, wherever you are.

As a counterintelligence Special Agent for the U.S. Army, Jake served in Japan, Italy, Washington D.C. and across Europe with NATO. He’s lost track of the number of countries he visited and the number of spies and terrorists he left unemployed.

The work challenged his mind and broadened his horizons but after a decade it started to lose its shine. While working with the White House in D.C., he grew tired of the high-security offices that never knew daylight and the tie that seemed suffocating too early in the day. He longed for dinner with his family, open roads, the smell of trees, and the serenity of the night’s stars. He missed home and a life more simple.

In 2015, Jake made the difficult choice to not re-enlist.  Selected for promotion, and only nine years away from retirement, Jake and his wife Jamie packed their home into boxes and drove from East to West with no real plan. The only thing they knew for sure was nine years of family dinners and a more peaceful way of life was a trade they were willing to make.

Today when you chat with Jake at Bed & Barrel, he’ll mostly likely be wearing jeans and a quiet smile. He’ll listen closely to everything you share and pause after each sentence to make sure you don’t have more to say. That trait is our favorite, as we know it is one part counterintelligence training and two parts thoughtful character.

Jake’s path was meant for Bed & Barrel. He drives a windy and quiet road to work, admiring the sunrise on the lake. His mind is challenged by the diverse and complex business of winemaking. He insists upon not working in the Bed & Barrel office and instead brings his laptop to the dining table by the fire. He was at the hospital with his brother and sister on the days his family grew last year. He and Jamie eat dinner with their family several nights a week.

The icing on the cake is that he’s making great wine and it needs to be tasted often.

It was a damn good trade.







Stonehouse Cellars: Wine and Family that Failed Forward

Stonehouse Cellars: Wine and Family that Failed Forward

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