Our Story

We want to share a little more about the path that made Telaya a reality.

Earl is originally from central Kentucky, where he proudly was raised working on the family tobacco and cattle farm. Carrie was raised in suburban Southern Indiana. We met as college juniors, living on a 40-foot fishing boat, studying tropical ecology in the Galapagos Islands. Our journey from that meeting has taken us to San Salvador, Bahamas (studying tide pool and coral reef ecology), to College Station, TX (master’s program in molecular genetics for Carrie), down the coast of Africa from Nigeria to Angola (Earl working in international logistics), and then to Columbus, Ohio (DVM degree for Carrie at Ohio State). We landed in Boise, ID in 2002 – originally moving here for Earl’s work in generic pharmaceuticals. Earl has traveled the world in his profession from Europe and Asia to Israel and Cuba.

But after all of this – we consider Idaho to be our home. This is where our two sons were born and this is where we want them to be raised. We proudly identify with what we consider to be the Idaho values of hard work, family, integrity, love of outdoors and living life with a passion.

As both of us were ready to turn 40, we decided on the beaches of Cabo that we needed to find that passion for life again. So we asked ourselves what it was we were passionate about. Our answers to each other revolved primarily around family, friends, and teaching crucial life values to our boys. We are also very passionate about travel – our two favorite places in the world being specifically the Teton Mountain range in Wyoming and more generally the beach (or playa in Spanish). And we loved wine – the tastings, the pairings with food, the fact that wine production combines our respect and experience with agriculture with our science backgrounds. We talked and planned as we walked many miles on the beaches of Mexico. It was on one early morning of that trip that Earl came up with the name Telaya (combining our beloved Tetons with playa) and drew our logo of a mountain range and ocean waves in the sand. And so our new endeavor was born.

We fortuitously made contact and connections with a group of very talented winemakers in Washington State.  Through these introductions and discussions, we were able to strike a partnership to produce a product of which we knew would both meet the quality standards we wanted and represent the Telaya brand well.

In the Fall of 2011, Telaya moved into the winery facility on 44th Street in Garden City, ID. Not only has this facility given us an urban environment to perform tastings and wine events, but more importantly has provided us the opportunity to learn.  We are extremely grateful to have access to Kathryn House (from the House of Wine) who is our “Wine Guru.”    She has held winemaking positions at Seven Hills Vineyard, Pepper Bridge Winery and Betz Family Winery.  As winemakers moving from Washington fruit to predominantly Idaho fruit, we recognized the need for ongoing education.  Kat provides us with rigorous scientific seminars, trouble-shooting consultations and brainstorming sessions.

And the grapes – we could not do what we do without our grapes!  We started with Washington fruit because of our contacts in the state and our familiarity with Columbia Valley wines.  But we are extremely proud and excited to make the transition to sourcing primarily Idaho grapes.  Our 2012 release will contain wines made from 100% Idaho fruit.

Telaya seems like the perfect fit for us – this blending of our passions. And we view this as only the first step. We have many plans and dreams for the future – both for us, our family and for the company.

And we would love to have you come along with us on this journey…