Jim Duarte’s experience in agriculture began in 1971 working in viticulture in Fallbrook, California, when he began commercially propagating the first UC heat-treated selections of grapevines. He then revolutionized the viticulture nursery industry by growing the virus-free stock in plastic containers, making a more sanitary finished vine.
In 1976, he and wife Anita added tropical house plants to their product line, and continued production for 13 years.
In the late 1980s, the rise of the threat of Phylloxera, coupled with the increased consumption of red wine, brought Jim back to his hometown of 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.