California


Our California Wineries


Barrique

Founded in 2008 and located in Sebastopol, Sonoma County, the Brack Mountain Wine Company takes an approach to making and marketing wine they believe is more in tune with the 21st century. It operates neither as a “chateau” (no iconic buildings, sprawling estate vineyards, gardens, or caves) nor as a “negociant” bottler ...

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Bench

Founded in 2008 and located in Sebastopol, Sonoma County, the Brack Mountain Wine Company takes an approach to making and marketing wine they believe is more in tune with the 21st century. It operates neither as a “chateau” (no iconic buildings, sprawling estate vineyards, gardens, or caves) nor as a “negociant” bottler ...

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Blacksmith

Blacksmith Cellars is a 1,500 case winery that rests upon the vision, dedication and hard work of one man, Matt Smith. Passionate about both the science and art of wine, he approaches his craft in ways that seem simultaneously systematic and inspired. He makes his wines in a warehouse located on the grounds of the former Naval Air Station in A ...

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Bodkin Wines

Despite growing up in eastern Iowa in a non-drinking household, Christopher Christensen, the “winesmith and head honcho” at Bodkin Wines, caught the wine bug soon after graduating from Stanford University. But without preconceived notions about how to start and run a winery, Christensen does march to the beat of his own drummer. Gu ...

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Brander

After the film “Sideways,” it’s easy to associate Santa Barbara with Pinot Noir. And early-ripening Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are suited to this area because of the odd way that the valleys run from west to east, wafting the fog many miles from the coast toward inland vineyards. But the Brander Winery never hitched its wagon ...

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Castle Rock

Producing low-priced wine is not difficult in California – as long as one uses undistinguished central valley grapes. Yet Castle Rock Winery sells premium, handcrafted wines from the best appellations in California, Oregon and Washington at prices that match those wines labeled “California.” Castle Rock Winery’s secret ...

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Ch. Montelena

Founded in the 1880s, Chateau Montelena was named for Mt. Saint Helena, the imposing peak that looks over the upper Napa Valley where the winery is located. For decades one of the valley’s top quality wine producers, the estate struggled in the years after prohibition and even ceased making wine from its grapes. That all changed in the l ...

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Cliff Lede

Elegant... brilliant color.... lush and velvety.... fine cherry and red berry flavors... soft tannins.... Those notes capture Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stags Leap AVA. In the summer, these jagged, southwest-facing hills, stretching from the northeastern Napa City limits to the outer edge of Yountville, are toasted by the hot afternoon sun bu ...

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Cline

Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay may seem ubiquitous in Northern California’s wine industry, but it wasn’t always that way. Seeing the old vineyards near his grandfather’s ranch in Oakley, California, Fred Cline learned that wine growers 100 years ago preferred Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Mataro (Mourvedre) and Carign ...

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Dashe

Most winemakers would feel “married to the job,” but Dashe Winery, founded and run by husband and wife team Michael and Anne Dashe, gives new meaning to “labor of love.” Michael studied at UC Davis and gained experience at Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Far Niente and Ridge Vineyards, among others, while Anne trained at th ...

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Draxton

After many years working as a winemaker and grapegrower with such wineries as Schramsberg, Geyser Peak and Canyon Road, Mike Draxton founded Draxton Wines in 1999 with a team of similarly-experienced wine industry veterans. A key part of the business model, which grew into a separate winemaking company, was to consult and make wine for local g ...

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Dunn

A family-owned winery located on Howell Mountain, Dunn Vineyards may be Napa Valley’s best analogy to a Bordeaux Grand Cru but operated by a man with all the pretense of a humble, countryside vigneron. Like great Bordeaux, the wines are consistent in quality; deep with dark fruit and earthy flavors; chewably tannic, moderately alcoholic ...

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Ferdinand

Because just seven or eight grape varieties dominate California wine production (for example, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris account for 69% of all white wine grapes), one might not notice a growing trend toward non-traditional grape varieties. However, more and more growers and winemakers are either rediscovering varieties that on ...

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Flowers

One trend in California winemaking has been a push toward growing grapes on increasingly marginal lands ever closer to the Pacific Ocean. The reasoning is simple: cooler temperatures allow grapes to ripen slowly while retaining acidity, which is particularly desirable in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay if they are to achieve Burgundian levels of exc ...

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Gary Farrell

On trying the first wine Gary Farrell made (a 1978 Davis Bynum Pinot Noir) in a wine competition, the renowned Russian-born enologist, André Tchelistcheff was said to remarked, “whoever made it, he knows Pinot Noir.” Since that time Farrell went on not only to make excellent Pinot Noir, but to play a key role in the transfor ...

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Grand Cru Vineyards

Grand Cru Vineyards is produced by the Bronco Wine Company, the fifth-largest wine producer in the United States. But unlike some of the wine company conglomerates, Bronco prides itself as a grape grower and operator of wineries rather than a negociant buyer and seller of bulk wine. Indeed, Bronco owns more vineyards than any other American pr ...

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Head High

Head High was founded in 2015 by Bill Price, Sonoma wine country entrepreneur and one time surfer dude, to champion Pinot Noir from great Sonoma vineyards as well  sustainable viticulture and philanthropic-oriented business practices. Bill Price may be that major Sonoma County wine business leader that you have never heard of. For, while ...

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Hoopes/Hoopla

Located on prime Napa Valley real estate, where the Oakville AVA borders Yountville, the Hoopes Vineyard is a family business with a twist: it’s a father-daughter operation – in which (daughter) Lindsay Hoopes has full control of managing the business. Her father, Spencer Hoopes, came to farming and winegrowing by following his pas ...

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J Vineyards & Winery

J Vineyards and Winery produces highly-acclaimed sparkling wines as well as varietal wines in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. As the daughter of Tom Jordan, founder of Jordan Winery, Judy Jordan was raised amidst the hustle and bustle of an influential rising star in Sonoma County’s wine industry. Rather than join the family ...

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Joel Gott

Joel Gott Wines is based in the Napa Valley but produces Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and other wines from select vineyards throughout California, Oregon and Washington. The philosophy behind the operation is to blend grapes from a wide range of sources in order to provide complex, balanced and flavorful wines at affordable p ...

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Jordan

Jordan Vineyards and Winery has been producing fine Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in the Alexander Valley for over 40 years. Proud of its role in helping to establish the reputation of Sonoma County wine, the winery also sees itself as carrying on winemaking traditions that have been practiced in France for centuries. In the early 1970s ...

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Kalin Cellars

“Unbelievable wines from an eccentric genius” is how Robert Parker describes the output of Kalin Cellars. Like many who have tasted these libations, Parker is a confirmed “Kalinite.” Beyond a boutique, Kalin Cellars almost qualifies as cult status. Why, “almost?” Because Kalin Cellars is a cult winery in jus ...

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Keller

Pinot Noir and Petaluma. 40 years ago, the received wisdom was that California Pinot Noir would never achieve the subtle brilliance of Burgundy and that Petaluma, home to dairy and chicken farmers, was far too cold for vineyards. Funny how things change. Indeed, California Pinots get better each year, and Petaluma may one day soon produce the ...

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Lagier Meredith

Lagier Meredith produces distinctive and highly-acclaimed Syrah as well as smaller amounts of Mondeuse, Malbec and Zinfandel from a 4.5 acre vineyard on Mt. Veeder. Just two individuals operate the entire enterprise, taking the term vins de garage to a new level. Steve Lagier and Carole Meredith spent almost eight years preparing the land befo ...

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Lawer

Drive northwest into the hills above Calistoga, and you’ll find pockets of vineyards rolling between steep dry slopes of fir, madrone, oak and bay laurel. This is the Frantz Valley, a hidden corner of the Knight’s Valley AVA, lying just across the Napa/Sonoma county line. When Betsy and David Lawer stumbled upon this scene of prist ...

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Leo Steen

Located in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, Leo Steen Wines is a 1,000 case winery owned by Leo Steen Hansen, a Danish-born winemaker who is passionate about single vineyard, dry Chenin Blanc – though he does produce a few barrels of Syrah, Grenache and Chardonnay as well.  Founded in 2004, Leo Steen Wines is a point on Leo Hansen&rsqu ...

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Littorai

Ted Lemon is a winegrower, not a winemaker. Winegrowing implies that careful and conscientious farming is the primary step in crafting wines that express their terroir. Littorai was founded in 1993 after Ted and Heidi Lemon took an epic wine tasting tour from Walla Walla, Washington, to Santa Barbara in search of a spot that would yield great ...

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Navarro Vineyards

In the southwestern corner of Mendocino County, the Anderson Valley is pastoral and remote, a woodland and agricultural landscape that features farms and vineyards but few fancy restaurants or tasting rooms. Yet it is home to some of California’s top vineyards for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as Riesling and Gewürtztraminer. Th ...

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Oeno

Oeno Wines is based in Sebastopol, California. This is how Amy Atwood, owner of Oeno Wines, tells her story: "I started Amy Atwood Selections (Cleanskins Wine LLC) in 2009 because I wanted to work with wines I love and winemakers I respect. After 15 years of working for other wine wholesalers and importers, my focus had shifted towar ...

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Paradise Ridge

From a stunning location on a hill northeast of Santa Rosa, the family-owned and operated Paradise Ridge Winery produces a range of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The winery owns estate vineyards in the Russian River Valley AVA but also sources fruit from vineyards in other areas such as Rockpile and ...

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Piper Sonoma

Piper Sonoma was established in 1980 as part of a wave of investment in California by French Champagne houses. In the 1970s, demand for Champagne was growing while the ability to increase supply was slim due to the finite size of the Champagne region. “Go West” seemed like a good idea. While Möet, Mumm and Tattinger planted vi ...

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Rafanelli

The A. Rafanelli Winery produces Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from their vineyards and small winery located in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. Alberto Rafanelli, an immigrant from Italy, planted grapes and made wine near Healdsburg in the early 20th century. In the 1950s, Alberto’s son, Amerigo, moved the operation to ...

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Ramey

If there has been a movement in California away from buttery, tropical-sweet Chardonnay and over-ripe, high-octane  Cabernet, surely one of the leaders is David Ramey. Located in picturesque Healdsburg, Ramey Cellars is a craft-winery that produces startlingly fresh and balanced Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyards in Sonoma C ...

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Rochioli

When it comes to Russian River Pinot Noir, Rochioli Vineyards is an iconic name. After all, Rochioli supplied the fruit in wines made by Williams-Selyem and Davis Bynum that won awards and established the Russian River Valley as a great region for the “notoriously fickle” Pinot Noir. When Rochioli decided to release a wine under th ...

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Rombauer

Founded by Koerner Rombauer (a relation of Irma Rombauer, author of the best-selling Joy of Cooking), Rombauer Winery is a successful, family-owned Napa Valley winery with sales of over 150,000 cases per year, six estate vineyards, and some of the most loyal fans of any winery anywhere. (Employees are loyal as well. Ritchie Allen, Rombauer&rsq ...

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Saintsbury

Andre Tchelistcheff , the great Russian emigre winemaker/prophet, proclaimed that Carneros with its cool climate would one day produce Northern California’s best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Though a few growers and sparkling wine producers in the 1970s heeded his call and began planting vineyards in the district, it took a few years for a ...

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SeaGlass

They say that “life’s too short for cheap wine.” But who really has the energy (or the pocketbook) to drink only the most artisanal wines? In fact, we’re often in situations where we can’t simply open our high-scoring, well-aged, collectable wines - a weeknight, after a soccer game or when a friend just happens to ...

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Shafer

In the Stags Leap District, Cabernet Sauvignon is king. The well-drained volcanic soils and climate cooled by regular San Pablo Bay fogs produce cabs that are silky, supple and voluptuous: “an iron fist in a velvet glove.” While the Stags Leap District is now world class, when John Shafer moved his family there from Chicago in 1973 ...

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Six Cloves

Sonoe Hirabayashi grew up on an apple farm in the foothills of the Northern Alps of Japan, yet she pursued a very American dream in working her way toward founding Six Cloves, her own California wine making and consulting business. After starting out working in New York in international trade and finance, Hirabayashi got bitten by the wine bug ...

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Stack House

You might consider going into business with your husband or wife to be a risk, but it helps if one partner’s expertise and passion matches that of the other. And when that “labor of love” is crafting fine wine, there’s a special glass of wine to be shared at the end of each stressful day. Stack House is a label produced ...

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Taken

For most of us, an enthusiasm for fine wine hits in our thirties, while the notion of starting a winery may signal the onset of a mid-life crisis. But for Josh Phelps and Carlo Trinchero, the entrepreneurs behind the Taken Wine Company, founding a Napa winery soon after graduating from college seemed like the right thing to do. They say wine i ...

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Thackrey

It’s no secret that California winemaking attracts plenty of entrepreneurs and artisans,  characters who seem larger than life. But in a world of “class acts,” Sean Thackrey occupies a class of his own. He crafts his wines in a redwood barn in Bolinas, a small town on the coast about 45 km north of San Francisco – ...

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Three

Matt and Erin Cline, the owners and proprietors of the Three Wine Company maintain a philosophy about wine, namely, that it can be reduced to just three vital elements: dirt, microclimate and sustainable wine-growing. By sourcing fruit from old vineyards in Contra Costa, Napa and Sonoma counties and by working closely with the growers who own ...

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Three Thieves

Like Robin Hood, who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, Three Thieves Winery believes that one’s fortune (or lack thereof) need not preclude the enjoyment of such riches as premium California wine. Indeed, sharing a bottle of wine with loved ones or good friends is not a privilege; it’s a basic right! And who said fine wine ...

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Trefethen

A family-owned producer of distinguished estate wines for over 50 years, Trefethen Family Vineyards has always been guided by a unique dedication to sustainable farming, thoughtful winemaking and gracious hospitality. The majority of Trefethen’s nearly 600 acres are found on the Main Ranch Vineyard, located in Oak Knoll – about mid ...

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Winery Locations