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Jim and Sally Arnold, owners of Triassic Vineyards, with their impressive seven award-winning wines.

TRIASSIC Vineyards is a new experience, and I became a first-time business owner at age 63. Our friends were ready to relax, golf, travel, RETIRE! My husband Jim, at 69, retired, when we started a new life, journeying into the unknown as owners of a vineyard. Once we were a family with four children, now a family with a vineyard, the vines are the children that require year-round supervision. The Tasting Room is our guest house, where our extended families come to visit, and to see how the vines are doing.

We purchased the vineyard property in November of 2013, moved to Tehachapi in 2014, leaving the life we had known for 42 years. Married 48 years, we learned that it’s one thing to be a partner in marriage, quite another to be a partner in business. I own 50 percent and Jim owns the other 50 percent of Triassic Vineyards, with equal say-so. It has taken Jim a long time to get used to the idea of working with a female partner, especially me, the wife! Maybe this is like a new marriage. We have experienced many growing pains in these past seven and a half years.

While raising four children, our roles were defined. Jim was the bread-winner; I took care of business at home. As a Baby Boomer, born in 1950, the world was changing and women were entering the workforce. I went from dresses to mini-skirts and laced up knee-high boots. When Jim and I married in 1972, I wore knee-high boots underneath my wedding gown.

Being half owner of Triassic Vineyards requires a lot from both of us in order to make it work. In a lot of respects, I’m still doing many things I did before coming here, plus much more. Now I have two houses, and five bathrooms to keep clean, etc. The wonderful part of being here is that life is never dull. I feel fulfilled in so many ways.

People arrive for a glass or two of wine, and stay a while. They often become part of the extended family. My passion has always been a curiosity for the way things work, and here I am gaining knowledge about every aspect of taking care of a vineyard and the people who help in the process. A business owner can never do things alone. It requires people who believe in you, and have a desire to see you succeed. We are truly blessed to live in Tehachapi.