We made our first wine from Sonoma County grapes in 1876 and have been continuously making wine in the same stone cellar in Healdsburg, California since 1890. As we have from the beginning, our wines reflect Sonoma County - a small, scenic and stunningly diverse region along the Pacific Coast.
We own vineyards in two small and specialized sub-districts of Sonoma County--the warmer Alexander Valley where we grow red Bordeaux varieties, and the cooler, foggier Russian River Valley where our Goldfields Vineyard is planted to Chardonnay.
The Alexander Valley
Where Bordeaux Red Grapes Meet with Destiny
Alexander Valley possesses the greatest diversity of soils in any wine-growing region of California. It has a long history of dramatic geologic activity from an ancient mudflow that changed the course of the Russian River to earthquake upheavals that redistributed whole sections of land. This created numerous soil types and microclimates and allows our winemakers to produce wines with a great diversity of flavors.
The Russian River Valley
Moving Through Time
Motion defines all rivers. In the case of the Russian River flowing through Sonoma County, the force of the river's current pales when compared to the movement that takes place beneath its surface. There, over eons of time, two vast and restless plates of earth have continually collided to cause soil and rock to upheave.
Along with that, volcanoes have erupted, depositing volcanic ash. The result is complex soil that grapevines and their roots, incredibly sensitive to everything they come into contact with, reflect in fruit structure, aroma and flavor. Proximity to the Pacific Oceans guarantees that vineyards in the Russian River Valley benefit from cooling ocean fog, allowing fruit to develop slowly while maintaining acidity.
Goldfields Vineyard: 105 Acres
This meant-to-be Chardonnay vineyard makes up the heart of our Reserve Chardonnay and also contributes to our Sonoma County Chardonnay. We've planted it to a variety of Chardonnay root stocks, field selections and clones taken from some of the best and oldest vineyards in California. The vineyard's Goldridge and Huichica series soils provide superb drainage. Goldfields' location in a warmer region of the Russian River Valley allows grapes to ripen fully each vintage.