Some vineyards have signs, we have arches. They’re all made by the same person—Jesus Salcedo. The walls, too. Jesus came from Michoacán when he was 15, and started working with contractors after he finished high school. He gravitated to stone work because he learned fast, and had a feel for it. Over the years he’s worked with some of the best in the Valley, picking up know-how along the way. Like the Italian stone masons Sloan brought over for their caves—Jesus built the walls; the Italians did the brickwork.
For our projects he uses limestone; shears off the outer “skin” of large rocks and fits them like a jigsaw puzzle—no grout showing. He chooses his blade, makes his cut, then chisels at the cut mark to make it look natural. Each stone by hand. You can’t chip it, it breaks too easily. He’s been with David since 1998, and always works alone. He brought in help once, but when David looked at the work, he could tell which stones were laid by Jesus, and which by the help. That’s fine by Jesus—he’d rather do the work than manage people.