While working on our project with the Livermore Valley Wine Growers Association: https://www.lvwine.org this month, I had the opportunity to go to El Sol Winery and meet Hal Liske, owner, winemaker, and all-around inspiration. When I arrived, the first thing that I saw was a large stack of beehives that had been taken apart and looked to be in the process of being cleaned. As I was gathering my photography gear, out from behind the pile, a tall older gentleman came out with a big smile and introduced himself. Meet Hal Liske.
At 83 years old, Hal Liske hasn’t slowed down yet. This retired Fire Chief has decided to take on a whole other life after his 30-year career serving the community. On his vineyard in Livermore Valley, Hal has created his island of tranquility. Beehives scattered the property, and rows of vines of different varietals lie dormant as a neighbor rides by on horseback. It’s a scene that any photographer would jump at to capture.
Hal grew up in the Bay Area and has been a positive force of good his entire life. “When I became a firefighter back then… it wasn’t like today, it’s was more like getting a job as a plumber or a mechanic. Back then, being a firefighter wasn’t thought of as a glamorous job.” He worked his way up through the ranks and eventually became the Fire Chief of his station in the city of Hayward. Hal also dedicated a large portion of his time to coaching youth soccer teams for many years.
Meanwhile, Hal’s wife, Kathy Liske, serves as a Chair on the Board of Directors for the Livermore Wine Growers Association. When she’s not making a difference in the community, Kathy makes gorgeous jewelry and manages a boutique gift section in the El Sol Winery tasting room.