Our Story


Four kindred spirits. Joe and Carol Klimek, Tom Golodik and Kathleen Rubel meet and a friendship grows based partly on their common love of all things Vermont.

Over the course of that friendship the two couples develop an interest in fine food and wine sparked by their travels during various shared vacations.

Eventually, after searching for a new home, they settled in Waitsfield.

Thinking about the vineyards they visited in California, France and Italy, and always looking for a challenge, Joe and Tom often wondered: “Can we grow wine grapes in Vermont's climate?"

With backgrounds in Engineering and Environmental Studies, they both shared a willingness to do the necessary work, and an idea that first started out as a personal challenge, later turning into a wonderful adventure, now is fact, an established vineyard on East Warren Road.

Joe and Tom

Thousands of hours were spent researching, planning and preparing before the first vines were planted in June 2007—site location, type of grape, soil analyses and field preparations, weather conditions, aesthetics, layout, equipment--were all issues that had to be addressed.

Preparations included Internet research, a review of viticultural literature, courses and seminars sponsored by the University of Vermont and Cornell University, among others, visits to many vineyards in the U.S. and abroad. All these activities contributed to the knowledge needed to turn that shared vision into the reality that is Mad River Vineyard.

And, of course, the support of family and friends and the Mad River Valley community is gratefully acknowledged from the very beginning and as the vineyard continues to grow.