Jim Pride, founder of Pride Mountain Vineyards in Napa Valley, died Wednesday morning after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 66.
Pride bought 170 acres on Spring Mountain in 1990, producing its first wine in 1991. From there, the winery, with Bob Foley overseeing winemaking, quickly established itself as one of Napa's cutting-edge producers. It is best known for its Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah and a Bordeaux-style blend, though it also produces high quality Chardonnay and Viognier. The 82-acre vineyard yields about 16,000 cases a year.
In addition to operating the winery, Pride was also a dentist and ran the Pride Institute in Novato, Calif., a management and consulting firm for dentists.
"He was a great neighbor, a great friend, a really nice person," said Barbara Richards, owner of Paloma Vineyards, also on Spring Mountain. "He also did wonders with that property. It was a disaster when he bought it, and now it's perfection."
Surviving Pride are his wife, Carolyn; two children, Suzanne Bryan and Steve; and four grandchildren. Funeral services will be private.