Meet the Farmers: Lorenzo Vineyard

Vineyard:  Lorenzo Vineyard
Farmers:  The Bazzano Family
Variety:  Chardonnay
Landmark Wine:  Lorenzo Chardonnay

Since 1974, the Bazzano family has been farming this vineyard in the Russian River Valley.  John and his wife Phyllis live on property. Originally they planned to plant their vineyard to Chablis, but when the nursery had a mix up with their order, they ended up planting the vineyard to chardonnay instead.  Lorenzo Vineyard, named for John’s grandfather, is one of the few Russian River Valley vineyard sites with old vine chardonnay thanks to this serendipitous mistake.

Lorenzo Vineyard has always been a family affair.  John and Phyllis are both retired school teachers, but back when they were still teaching winter and summer breaks were a time for work in the vineyard.  All the children helped.  Their grown sons, John Jr. and Matt, are still involved with the family business today.   The whole family, even the grandchildren, pitch in during harvest and pruning times.

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Meet the Farmers: Rayhill Vineyards

Vineyard:  Rayhill Vineyard
Farmers:  William Rayhill
Variety:  Pinot Noir
Landmark Wine:  Rayhill Pinot Noir

Tended and cared for on daily basis, William Rayhill’s pinot noir vineyard surrounds his family home in the Sebastopol Hills. With dramatic views of Mount St. Helena and Mayacamas Mountain to the east, the vines at this scenic vineyard are over ten years old. William walks the vineyard frequently and uses his ATV to reach all corners of the ranch nurturing each vine. The vineyard benefits from ample rainfall thanks to its proximity to the Sonoma Coast.

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Meet the Farmers: Sangiacomo Family Vineyard

Vineyard:  Sangiacomo Vineyards
Farmers:  Mike and Steve Sangiacomo
Variety:  Chardonnay
Landmark Wine:  Overlook Chardonnay, Damaris Chardonnay, and Kiser Chardonnay.

For three generations, the Sangiacomo family has been farming the rich Sonoma Valley soil.  Purely dedicated to farming, the Sangiacomo family put an intense focus on their farming techniques.  Built on a handshake in the vineyard, Landmark has been working closely with this family since the 1990s.

Sangiacomos have always been connected to the land – especially through family.  Beginning in Genoa, Vittorio Sangiacomo voyaged to America on the advice of his father and got his first job at age 17 in the vegetable fields at Bay Farm Island in Alameda County.  In 1927, he was able to purchase a 52-acre fruit tree ranch in Sonoma – which is the where their Home Ranch is today.  In 1969, the second generation of Sangaicomos began switching the planting from fruit trees to grape vines.   By the 1980s, the conversation was complete.

Read more about the Sangaicomo’s rich family history.

 

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Meet the Farmers: Heintz Vineyards

Vineyard:  Heintz Vineyards
Farmers:  Charlie Heintz
Variety:  Chardonnay
Landmark Wine:  Overlook Chardonnay & Charlie Heintz Chardonnay

The Charlie Heintz Vineyard has been in the family for over 100 years.  When Prohibition struck, they pulled out their vineyards and planted fruit trees.  What good law-abiding citizens!  Well…. Maybe they left a little for the family wine…

Charlie Heintz and his family have been farming his family land with grapes for the past sixty years.   The majority of his vineyard is planted to Chardonnay.  The vineyard’s close proximity to the Pacific Ocean provides excellent growing conditions. Here at Landmark, we’ve always loved how Charlie provides a “hands-on” approach to growing grapes and believe it’s the main reason why our Charlie Heintz Chardonnay is a popular seller from year to year.

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Meet the Farmers: Flocchini Vineyards

FlocchiniVineyard:  Flocchini Vineyards
Farmers:  Nick and Andrew Flocchini
Variety:  Chardonnay
Landmark Wine:  Overlook Chardonnay & Damaris Chardonnay

Planted to two of our winemaker’s favorite chardonnay clones, Wente and Robert Young, this vineyard located along the Lakeville corridor has sweeping views of the Petaluma Gap. Brothers Andrew and Nick Flocchini farm this small vineyard site with exceptional care and attention. Thanks to the mild, cool climate, the grapes achieve early ripening and mature while maintaining balance and optimal acidity.

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Growers Luncheon 2014

Every year we host a lunch to honor the hard work of our amazing growers.  They are essential to the success of our wines.   Typically our flagship wine, the Overlook Chardonnay, is a blend of about twenty different vineyards.  Behind each vineyard is an individual farmer whose story is as unique as the vineyard itself.  Our Grower Luncheon is our way of thanking these farmers for all the time and effort they put into their vineyard.  We could not be more grateful for all that they do for us.  It is also a great opportunity to come together to celebrate and enjoy what we have created together – amazing wines!

 

After a beautiful sit-down lunch in our courtyard, we send each grower home with a special bottle of wine from their own vineyard.  Many of these farmers’ vineyards are part of our Overlook Chardonnay blend, so it’s truly special to share with them their piece of the blend. 

 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing more about our growers and their beautiful vineyards.

 

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Best of California Dinner Party

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We love throwing dinner parties which is why we created our Best of California Dinner Party Sweepstakes.  (Enter to win here >>  http://woobox.com/bq8qpf)  Over the years, we have encountered our fair share of glorious party moment and, of course, some learning moments.  From our successes and failures, we are sharing with you our list of tips.

  1. Friday Night Rocks.  Guests are usually excited to kick of the weekend and happy to linger late celebrating.  It also keeps their weekend free.  For the host, having your dinner on Friday night will really encourage you to spread out the work throughout the week and keep things simple.
  2. Relaxed Host.  Have a glass of wine before your guests arrive.  A relaxed host is a happy host.
  3. Play a Game.  If possible, get outside and play a lawn game or such before dinner.  We love playing Bocce.  It helps guests work up an appetite and gives them something to laugh about over dinner.
  4. The Sweet Stuff.  Make your dessert the day before or pick it up from the store.    If you are brewing coffee, stick with decaf.
  5. Drinks.  Pick one signature cocktails drink.  Also have plenty of chardonnay and pinot noir ready to serve which are both extremely food friendly.
  6. No Place Cards.  They tend to feel a bit stuffy.  However, you should still think about the seating arrangement.  Have the “funny” person in your group sit in the middle.  Keep the shy folks close to the hosts.  Couples should not sit together.  Consider switching seats with your partner at dessert time to mix it up.
  7. Turn off the lights.  Set out lots of antique candlesticks with differing heights to set the mood and give a dash of opulence and charm.
  8. Over the top.  To put the evening over the top, send guests home with homemade mignardises in antque jars.   They’ll dig in on the way home or save them for the morning.  Either way your party will leave a lasting impression.
  9. Share Tasks.  Give your guests tasks that they can handle – lighting candles, filling water glasses.
  10. Edible Centerpiece.  A baguette at each end of the table is a beautiful touch, but also put an assortment of rustic breads on the table, so people can tear off pieces as they pass them around.
  11. Make-Ahead Menu – Williams-Sonoma shares a delicious menu that you can make ahead.  http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/menu/casual-dinner-party.html

Don’t feel like throwing the party yourself?  Then, enter to win our Best of California Dinner Party and we’ll take care of all the details – no dishes, no mess.  We’ll host an amazing dinner party for you and eleven of your friends under the stars here at Landmark Vineyards.  Enter to win >>  http://woobox.com/bq8qpf

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