Eliot and I are excited to share with you Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Warnecke Ranch, the family vineyard where we make our home. For the past six years we have invested ourselves in the knowledge and appreciation of the vineyards and surrounding land. As small batches of wine turned larger each year, winemaking became a way for us to engage further with the land. The excellent 2012 vintage marks the beginning of our publicly available estate-grown wine.
My family has been in stewardship of this special place by the Russian River since 1911. Over the years, its incarnations have included sheep farm, family fishing retreat and satellite office for my grandfather's renowned architectural firm. In 1973, a portion of the pasture land was planted to Bordeaux varietals, and vineyard headquarters were set up in the old dairy barn. The riverside compound and homestead farmhouses form a shared rental community amongst the vineyards, oak woodlands and riparian corridor. The ranch is also home to Chalk Hill Artist Residency, founded in 2010 to support contemporary artists, inclusive of artists living with disabilities. Today, Warnecke Ranch is a lively community of family, friends, local residents, artists, agriculturalists, environmental enthusiasts, and wildlife. To this rich tapestry we are adding the thread of winemaking, as the first of the family to embark on this adventure.
Our vineyard soils on the slopes of the Russian River consist of well drained clay-loam, veined with volcanic ash from Mt St. Helena. We farm to Certified Sustainable and Fish Friendly standards with a small dedicated crew who take pride in making the ranch their home as well. The microclimate here at the intersection of Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill and Russian River appellations provides hot days and cool foggy nights well suited to classic bordeaux varietals. From a special place on the river to a special place in the heart, we hope that you enjoy drinking our wine as much as we have enjoyed its making. - Alice Sutro