You truly do need the best soil and the best souls growing your grapes. Soil and soul are two very important parts of making incredible wines. When picking the right dirt and people you want to be with the best family farmers. We are thrilled to have two of the very, very best family farmers in Sonoma grow grapes for us.
You can't argue that the Duttons aren't serious family farmers. This family has been farming in Sonoma since 1881. Their first vineyard plantings in 1967 helped to establish the Russian River and Green Valley AVAs as two of the world’s great appellations for growing Burgundian varieties - Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
For 8 decades the family was known for the prunes, apples and pears they sold from a fruit stand in Santa Rosa. It took almost 90 years for them to start growing wine grapes. We have great-grandson Warren Dutton Jr. to thank for getting them out of prunes and into wine. His Chardonnay vineyard was one of the original Chardonnay vineyards in the Russian River region.
After almost 50 years of farming wine grapes, the Duttons run one of Sonoma County’s most acclaimed vineyard operations. Steve and Joe Dutton, the 5th generation of their family, boast the most widely recognized Chardonnay vineyard in California and one of the best sources for Pinot Noir. No arguing that the Duttons are one of the Best Family Farmers in Sonoma.
Speaking of great family farmers, now we get to brag about another family farmrming in Sonoma, the Sangiacomos. They don't go back quite as far as the Duttons, just 90 years to 1927, but they share the same number of years farming wine grapes. Both families made bold moves to convert orchards to vineyards, moves that deomonstrate that they are pioneers in Sonoma County.
Vittorio Sangiacomo purchased 52 acres of fruit trees in 1927 and farmed pears, cherries and prunes. Focused on production, he grew his land holdings and expanded his farming efforts. 40 years later, his sons, Ang & Buck, pulled out 600 acres of pear trees to plant a vineyard. In 1969 these brothers didn't expect that they would become visionaries in wine grape farming in Carneros.
This family has farming in their blood. Now the 3rd generation carries on the Sangiacomo family motto “Respect the land and it will bear fruit.” They have established themselves as master viticulturists, renowned for the exceptional quality of their grapes.
Dave is our dirt doctor. After 30 years of managing vineyards in Napa for the likes of Chappellet, Dave knows his dirt. He is an expert in organic farming and knows just what you need to do to make vines thrive in every type of soil. Working closely with the Duttons and Sangiacomos, Dave monitors our vineyard blocks and helps to coax the vines to produce amazing grapes.
A Napa Valley native, Dave has wine in his veins. With training in both winemaking and vineyard management, he is a real asset to our winemakers; he knows what they want out of a vineyard. A degree in viticulture from UC Davis gives him even more street cred. When he takes off his vineyard boots, Dave is with his family. These days you'll find him at track meets across CA cheering for his daughter.
In case you really do want to talk dirt, lets talk Goldridge. We think it is the best dirt for growing quality wine grapes because of it's excellent drainage and low soil fertility. Goldridge is a fine sandy loam that looks like Moon Dust with little gold flecks. Phillip and Dave say that Goldridge amplifies fruit intensity giving us citrusy notes in our Chardonnay and big red fruit in our Pinot Noir.