Raising lamb, although a passion was not profitable on its own. In 2003 Don was suffering financially and realized he could make a profit marketing his sheep as brursh-clearers, which ultimately saved the business.
Don feels a connection to the land. He believes he is performing a valuable service in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
Don is assisted by Peruvian sheepherders. Sheep are moved from lowland pastures in the spring to mountain pastures in the summer. This allows the lambs to grow up on an open range at their mothersâ€™ side. Lambs are raised solely on the natural forage of the open range and mothersâ€™ milk.
Although there are many goat herders, Don thinks in certain environments, such as open grassland, sheep do a better job of clearing grass and brush than goats.
He also believes that sheep herds could greatly help mitigate the fire danger of the California summers.
Length of relationship with Oliveto
Approximately 3,000 sheep graze between 5,000 – 10,000 acres a year across Napa, Sonoma, Marin, and Solano counties.
Lambs for consumption, and clearing land for wine vineyards
Bay Area and Los Angeles restaurants
Limited retail markets