Better Half was created by two couples, whose journey’s in life and love led them to work in the wine industry together. Their combined experiences and passion for wine and relationships is what inspired the four of them to start Better Half.
Mark & Kristin Pavlovic
Jim & Susan Close
Englishman Jim Close is a very happy trans-Atlantic transplant. Arriving just in time for harvest 2000, he brought with him a love of French wine and soon developed a passion for Northern California. its genial climate and potential for incredible wine and it's beautiful, easy-going people, especially the love of his life, Susan.
"When great fruit arrives at the winery, great wine is possible. A lot can still go wrong, but having fabulous raw materials makes the process of transforming grapes into wine a pleasure, a journey of hope and promise."
Jim believes his job as winemaker is to clear the path for the natural process of fermentation to take its course. Only a gentle, pragmatic hand is needed: careful sorting of the fruit to ensure only the finest grapes enter the vat; fermenting at moderate temperatures to preserve every delicate aroma and flavor; aging the wine in a selection of spice-rich French oak barrels chosen to best showcase that specific wine; and finally blending the best lots to create a final wine with nuance, depth, layers of flavor and above all balance.
When not making wine or thinking about wine Jim loves nothing more than hiking the hills of Northern California with his better half, Susan, and their ever so slightly over indulged dog-child Colby.