Wayne’s passion for making wine began in the Bay Area in the early 1980s. He would drive a flatbed truck up to the Dry Creek area in Sonoma County, buy about 10 tons of grapes and bring them back to his warehouse in Oakland for pressing. Those were days of wine, friends and partying while beginning to learn the art of winemaking. Wayne and Anne met in 1986 when he came to her for horseback riding lessons. Although he never became an avid horseman, they did create a bond and marriage that sustains them to this day. Anne joined Wayne in those early winemaking days, while always maintaining her passion and connection to horses.
Together they discovered Potter Valley in 1996 when Anne was offered a job in healthcare in Ukiah. A drive through Potter Valley on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in mid-Fall cemented their commitment to this magical valley. They thought it must feel just like the Napa Valley would have felt 60 years before. Families were eating outside on lawns, the sun cast a golden glow and the smell of grapes and blackberries permeated the air. There were vineyards, horses grazing and a small river running through the middle of the valley. They knew they had found a place where they could establish roots, both for themselves and for their wine grapes.
When Wayne and Anne first settled in Potter Valley, they rented a property next to the Tahto Bridge. Within a couple of years they had purchased the property and started their adventure in growing grapes, planting their small vineyard of Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Their very first order of rootstock vines was for the border along the property line. They ordered 20 vines. The folks at the rootstock nursery brightened when they heard, asking “20 acres?” No, just 20 vines. Well, that led to snickers and a bit of disappointment, but they didn’t stop there. It took almost 500 vines to finish the planting that year, and several years of nurturing those vines along. Now they produce what they think will become your favorite Sauvignon Blanc wine.
Bottling projects are long days spent on the assembly line brought by Boutique Mobile Bottler Kaleb Lessard, but staffed by ourselves and whoever we can convince to help us out! Friends Bing and Stacey have been essential partners in getting our endeavor going. We are always relieved to be able to count on sons Brian and Christopher to come help in harvesting or wine bottling days. Thank you everyone!
The warmer seasons are the best time to visit us in Potter Valley. You will find us living almost entirely outside within earshot of the waterfall made by the nearby check dam. We eat, work, play and even bathe in this beautiful environment of sun, water and views of mountains. We are usually accompanied by our two cats, Lobo and Brules, as well as our ever energetic Springer Spaniel, Gussie. Come and see us!
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