Al Good, Owner and Holistic Entrepreneurial Farmer

Shale Oak’s owner, Al Good, is a holistic entrepreneurial farmer. His sense of stewardship is what drives Shale Oak to be an authentic sustainable vineyard and winery, make best-quality wines, and offer a uniquely educational experience to our guests.

A born and raised Virginian, Al began his career as an East Coast representative for a grower in the San JoaquinValley. The company eventually moved him (kicking and screaming) to California, where he became their number one salesperson. This came very easy for him, as Al is a feverishly dedicated worker. The problem however, is that he tends to get bored when not properly challenged. He left and became a partner in a fruit brokerage in Salinas, a company that he later bought out. He then tried his hand at growing and selling apples in the Northwest, but decided it was just plain too easy. At that point, he turned to the business of table grapes. He started out borrowing coolers, then made the substantial investment to purchase his own. A welding accident two years later caused a fire that burned them to the ground. Looking at it as a challenge rather than a problem, Al rebuilt the business even better and now has several coolers, 40 swamp trucks, and one of the largest export table grape companies in the nation.

Al has consistently built authentic companies of high integrity, turning out the highest quality products possible, without cutting corners nor wasting money. He developed a holistic understanding of the agriculture business along the way, and considers himself a steward of the land. “We don’t own the land, we only use it,” he says. “Why in the world would anyone want to destroy it?” Consequently, Al does his best in every facet to conduct business and to farm in the most sustainable fashion possible. As this philosophy translates easily into any sort of industry, Al looked around to see what to sink his teeth into next. His love of both wine and agriculture naturally drew him to the wine industry. And his affinity for Paso Robles wines brought him here.

He began as a vineyard owner, growing and selling winegrapes for a few years. Al then hired renowned winemaker Kevin Riley, who adheres to the same best-quality and environmental standards. They began brainstorming, putting every possibility on the table, and decided to put a top-notch team together to make their idea a reality. The goal was to synergistically plan, plant and build a vineyard, winery and tasting room that would have next to zero impact on the surrounding environment. The result is Shale Oak Winery.

Al and his wife Suzette, along with their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, are almost finished building a new house on the winery property.