HEITZ CELLAR

  HEITZ CELLAR (BOTTLE) 436 St. Helena Hwy. St. Helena CA 94574 (707) 963-3542 heitzcellar.com PEOPLE Joe and Alice Heitz were pioneers of the modern American winemaking era. The couple purchased their first property in 1961, a time when only 12 wineries were left in the Napa Valley following the scourge of Prohibition. The incipient …

SKINNER VINEYARDS AND WINE

  SKINNER VINEYARDS AND WINERY (COIN) 8054 Fairplay Rd. Somerset CA 95684 (530) 620-2220 skinnervineyards.com PEOPLE After discovering an ancestral connection to a Gold Rush-era miner, rancher, and wine grower named James Skinner, Mike and Carey Skinner purchased property in the El Dorado Hills, along with a century-old stone cellar built by James (Mike’s great, …

SPOTTSWOODE

SPOTTSWOODE (BOTTLE) 1902 Madrona Ave. St. Helena CA 94574 (707) 963-0134 spottswoode.com PEOPLE Founder Mary Novak led Spottswoode for over two decades. Today her daughters run the business. Beth Novak Milliken serves as president and CEO to the estate while her sister Lindy Novak acts as national sales manager. Aron Weinkauf serves as winemaker. Spottswoode …

LO-FI WINES

  LO-FI WINES PO Box 574 Los Alamos CA 93440 (877) 958-4480 lofi-wines.com PEOPLE Michael Roth and Craig Winchester, friends from college, head up the small, unique, and lively production at Lo-Fi Wines. The name, Lo-Fi, truly emphasizes the way this duo approach their winemaking endeavor. They employ no additions outside of a small amount …

SMITH-MADRONE

SMITH-MADRONE (BOTTLE) 4022 Spring Mountain Rd. St. Helena CA 94574 (707) 963-2283 smithmadrone.com PEOPLE Brothers Stu and Charles Smith arrived on Spring Mountain in 1971, when it was still mostly uninhabited—though they soon discovered that the site that would become Smith-Madrone was planted to vineyards prior to Prohibition. More than 40 years later, theirs is …

LA CLARINE FARM

LA CLARINE FARM (SNAIL) 7721 Snowbird Ln. Somerset CA 95684 (530) 306-3608 laclarinefarm.com Perhaps more than any other California grape grower and winemaker, La Clarine Farm has been able to balance the fine line between minimalist intervention in winemaking and the compelling quality of the wine it produces. PEOPLE Since 2001, Hank Beckmeyer and Caroline …

PORTER CREEK VINEYARDS

  PORTER CREEK VINEYARDS (BOTTLE) 8735 Westside Rd. Healdsburg CA 95448 (707) 433-6321 portercreekvineyards.com PEOPLE George Davis acquired 40 acres in the Russian River Valley in 1977, with a Burgundian mission in mind. His son, Alex, took the reins some 20 years later and continues to craft wines informed by his experience not just in …

KAMEN ESTATE WINES

  KAMEN ESTATE WINES 111B E. Napa St. Sonoma CA 95476 (707) 938-7292 kamenwines.com PEOPLE Although owner Robert Kamen had purchased the estate in 1980, he didn’t release his first wine under his own label until 1999. The Grateful Dead once tested their new sound system in the natural amphitheater where his vineyards now stand. …

PRESTON FARM AND WINERY

  PRESTON FARM AND WINERY 9282 W. Dry Creek Rd. Healdsburg CA 95448 (707) 433-3372 prestonfarmandwinery.com PEOPLE When Lou Preston first arrived to the Dry Creek area of Sonoma in 1973, he found himself surrounded by a plethora of Italian immigrants as neighbors. Though his formal education in wine took place at U.C. Davis, it …

WIND GAP

  WIND GAP (BOTTLE) 6780 McKinley St., Suite 170 Sebastopol CA 95472 (707) 331-1393 windgapwines.com PEOPLE Pax and Pamela Mahle established Wind Gap as a way to focus their coastal Syrah vineyard sources in a more geographically and stylistically cohesive label. Having always made naturally low alcohol high acid wines thanks to the proximity to …