Fathers + Daughters
My wife Sarah’s family owns Ferrington Vineyard in the Anderson Valley. If you’ve never been to the Anderson Valley, think about what you have always imagine a wine region to look like. Narrow valley with sheep grazing on the hillsides? Check. Orchards intermixed with vineyards? Check. Historic structures imbued with an authenticity that other wine regions try to recreate? Check. The Anderson Valley is a magical place stuck in a simpler time where a tasting more often than not is conducted by the wine maker himself.
When we were expecting our daughter Ella in 2012, we asked Sarah’s father if we could make a Pinot Noir from Ferrington fruit to mark Ella’s birth. With his blessing (and support) we embarked on the adventure that would eventually become Fathers + Daughters Cellars.
Our first task was to find a wine maker. Since we were looking to make at least our initial vintage as a wine that could be cellared, we approached Phil Baxter Jr. Phil is known for his light-touch, Burgundian approach to making Pinots that have yielded stellar results for his label, Baxter Wines. We couldn’t have been more excited when he decided to take us under his wing.
Ella was born on July 23, 2012. We harvested the fruit for her special Pinot in the early morning hours of September 7, and since she was awake, she went along for the ride in a backpack as we worked side-by-side with the vineyard team picking and sorting fruit.
We followed the fruit up to Phil’s winery in a rustic barn high atop a Mendocino ridge. We helped with the destemming, sorting and pressing as we watched our first vintage move into barrel. For the next 16 months, we waited as the wine evolved, periodically sampling, until it was ready to be bottled. Then we laid it down in bottle for another year before it was ready to be released.
This became the roadmap for future vintages as we stayed small enough to ensure that our fingerprints have remained visible on each step of the process for every one of our wines. Today, seven years later, we have an inventory of a little more than 1,000 cases spread over seven wines. Besides our Pinot Noir, we also have Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurtzraminer, The Dance (a white blend), a sparkling Chardonnay, and a new Rose that we are very excited about.
We hope that you have enjoyed our wines during a visit to the inn. If you haven’t had a chance to try them, you can learn more about them on our website. And if you would ever like to visit the vineyard and taste these wines in their native environment, just let me know and we’ll see what we can arrange.
Written by Guy Pacurar