Jeff and I met in the spring of 1999. We discovered we both had Bachelor’s degrees in Hotel & Restaurant Management and history of working in food, wine, and travel. By the late summer of that year, we decided to make wine together.
Fall of 1999, we started in a garage in St. Helena with a half-ton of fruit from a small vineyard off Zinfandel Lane and the guidance of a local winemaker.
The 2005 vintage launched what was to become Gentleman Farmer Wines with 80 cases. Today we are still relatively small, less than 1,000. To give some perspective, next to the large, commercial Napa wineries on Highway 29 we would be the equivalent of the small farmstand on the side of the road that you may pass without noticing.
This small production is a benefit. It allows me to work with my hands. I walk my dedicated rows of vines during the growing season, tasting for flavor development and taking field samples. The days before we pick I will make a pass with my pruning shears to clear leaves from around the grapes, ensuring only beautiful clusters get into the picking bins the early morning of harvest.
We sort the grapes by hand to be certain only high-quality fruit goes into barrel or tank.
With this sort of intimacy, I can honestly say that I have been with every berry that makes it into our wines.
Member Since: 2020