It was inevitable... our love for farming and winegrowing would lead us to winemaking. The year was 2001 and our hearts and soul were ready to put everything into it. There is something very magical about creating a delicious wine from your own vineyard pushing the potential of flavors. We believe in the old world traditions of elegance, balance and gorgeous fruit. The only difference - we had winegrapes grown in sunny Alexander Valley in California.
We have both spent our lives in the vineyards, working the land and growing winegrapes, together we realized the potential for creating wines of distinction on our ranch at Garden Creek Ranch. Justin has grown up on this land and planted many of the oldest vines existing today. Our intention at the onset was never to follow the pack, but to create an identity of our own (without chasing scores from the top wine writers - its just not who we are) taking respected old world winemaking traditions while adding a new world twist. We are not trying to replicate anything but to create a wine you have never experienced. A wine that will perhaps inspire you too. With a little patience, we strive to create a distinctive wine with a fabulous story.
Intrigued by soils, the vines and what it takes to create world class wines, our sole intention today is to produce exceptional wines from the very best winegrapes grown on our ranch. Our focus today is to produce one red and one white. A Red Bordeaux varietal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc and a 100% Clonal blended Chardonnay.
We believe in traditional Old World winemaking, producing wines with balanced acidity imbued with rich elegant New World fruit forward flavors. Handcrafted. Slowly, gently with patience. We believe in 100% native fermentations capturing Garden Creek in it’s true character. There is much to be read about the arguments for and against natural vs commercial yeasts. The process by which our grapes ferment natively involves 200 or more different strains of yeasts, the actions of which are affected by pH, temperature, sugar levels, and the compounds in the grapes. We believe native ferments create incredibly deep rich flavors in complex well-rounded wines.
How do we choose the best winegrapes? We walk the vineyards row by row, choosing an area of vines blending with our palates selecting ½ to 1 ton lots at a time. After over 40 years of winegrowing at Garden Creek – we have come to learn the vineyards intimately and can foresee what the wine will be in the bottle within the different soil/vineyard locations. That truly takes time on your land. Keep it simple. True to ourselves and sustainable by our own hands. That's our approach to winemaking.
This image is the Gonzalez family who have been with us for over 35 years. Dagroberto in the foreground to the right along with his brothers hand sorting late into the evening.