My wife Maggie and I fell in love with the region when we began our search for “grape land”. In 1990 we were lucky to find and procure 40 luscious acres of land in the Shenandoah Valley, and I started to fulfill my dream of becoming a premier wine grape grower. With the help of UC Davis courses in viticulture and enology, I learned the skills needed to produce excellent quality wine grapes. Soon after I bought my little piece of paradise, I planted Zinfandel, Syrah, Barbera and Viognier grapes, combining the latest growing techniques with “TLC” to produce consistent, high quality grapes for excellent wines.
After 6 years of selling grapes to local wineries and tasting the potentially magnificent finished product, the time came for Wilderotter Vineyard to become Wilderotter Vineyard and Winery. Working with consultants, I started slow and fermented only 3 barrels each of Zinfandel and Syrah from the 2001 harvest. In the summer of 2003 my first vintage was in-bottle and for sale. But I didn’t know where? I had no tasting room, no distributors, and no wine brokers. I turned to “friends and family” to test my winemaking skills. Sales went well and I quickly sold out. (Every winemakers dream!) With the 2002 harvest, I produced 750 cases of Estate Zinfandel, Estate Syrah, Estate Viognier and Roussanne. Again, all was quickly sold out!
We have expanded to 80 acres which now include Zinfandel, Syrah, Tempranillo, Barbera, Viognier, Petite Sirah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, our signature Sauvignon Blanc and three types of olive trees. We currently produce 5000 cases annually, plus approximately 30 gallons of high-grade finishing olive oil from Manzanilla, Leccino and Frantoio fruit. We’ve expanded our production to two beautiful blends: Ambrosia – a beautiful fruity mix of Grenache and Tempranillo and a classic Rhone blend – GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre). We also procure premium fruit to produce limited releases of Russian River Chardonnay, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Amador Primitivo.
Our beautifully constructed tasting room, limited distribution to high-end retail and restaurants, and an ever-increasing Wine Club have reinforced my decision to continue to make a world-class product. We are excited about sharing our wines with new and old friends and hope you will love Wilderotter Wines. Please enjoy the fruits of our labor.
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