Co-founder, Jim Duarte’s experience in agriculture began in 1971 working in viticulture in Fallbrook, California. He commercially propagated the first UC heat-treated selections of grapevines. Jim revolutionized the viticulture nursery industry by growing the virus-free stock in a more sanitary method using plastic containers. In 1976 Jim expanded his focus to include the house plant industry as he and his wife Anita operated a tropical house plant nursery for the next thirteen years. The rise of the threat of Phylloxera, coupled with the increased consumption of red wine in the late eighties, brought Jim to Hughson to begin construction on Duarte Nursery. In 1989, Jim, Anita, their sons John and Jeff and a small staff once again brought change to the viticulture industry with the introduction of containerized, grafted grapevines enabling farmers the option of planting grapes year-round.