The Beginning

Our story begins with Mike making wines as a child on his parent’s property in Oregan.  It was apparent at an early age that he was destined to pursue a career in the wine business. His father was an avid home winemaker and Mike was fascinated by the process and would often help his dad. For Mike, this became his calling, a life-long ambition that began in the family garage. There, Mike would take any fruit he could get his hands on and craft it into wine. He once raided the neighbor’s bushes to produce a rose petal champagne. While just a sophomore in high school, Mike declared his intentions to major in enology at UC Davis, the Princeton of winemaking. For Mike, getting to work with his hands and be creative was like two worlds colliding into the perfect job!

Our Vision

Our approach to making wines starts in the vineyards in the Spring, harvest in the Fall, and through barrel aging, as one integrated whole. We are laser focused to make wines that speak to the virtues of the terror while not manipulating the wine, rather helping it become its best.

Optima

Making wines that reflect a sense of place.

OPTIMA

The Family

Two families that had similar background joined together to create one happy family. Mike, met his first wife Tina in college, after dating several years they married and moved to Napa after both landing jobs in the wine business.  They had three robust boys Danny, Chris, and Will. As their family grew so did the winery. Tina was a beautiful artist and helped Mike design and create the Optima label. In 2001 Tina, unfortunately, lost her battle with cancer leaving Mike to raise their family alone.

Nicol, born and raised in Santa Rosa, also found herself a widow at a very young age. With her degree in Accounting, she knew she could go anywhere. She made the bold move to leave Santa Rosa, where she and her son Tyler made a life. They then purchased property in Healdsburg in hopes of starting over. Tyler decided he wanted to play soccer so he tried out for the local team. Who was the coach? Mike Duffy.

Mike and Nicol met on the soccer field and had an instant connection.  One night Nicol invited Mike over to dinner. Not knowing what Mike did for a living, she asked Mike if he wanted a glass of wine.  The wine you ask? Optima Chardonnay! You can guess the rest of the story.

Today the entire Duffy clan pours heart and soul into Optima. Mike runs the day-to-day winemaking and Nicol runs the office and markets the wines from California to New York. Danny their oldest is attending UC Davis in hopes of being the next generation, Tyler and his wife Leesha come on weekends from Sacramento to help during bottling and special events, Chris lives in Los Angeles and comes up and  helps during harvest, and Will who is just 17 would also like to attend UC Davis and work alongside his big brother.

For them, it’s a family affair. Each bottle that leaves the winery represents their hard work, dreams, and devotion to each other.

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