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About Us

Philosophy...
The Watkins Family is committed to crafting limited production wines from the concentrated fruit of hillside vineyards. We believe that vineyard location, soil composition, climate and slope are key factors in creating wines of extraordinary quality and distinction. All of our wines are rich and intensely flavored, reflecting both their origin in the vineyard, and the balance and elegance of small lot winemaking.

For the first 10 years, we fermented our small lots in 40 gallon food-grade plastic garbage cans. We would punch down the cap with a 4" by 8" rectangle of plywood nailed to an ax handle. Our winery building was the tiny barn depicted on the front label of our wines. Randall Watkins went on to get a masters degree in Enology and worked for the last fourteen years at wineries in Sonoma, Napa and Chile. After experiencing all of the technological advances in winemaking, he concluded that the most interesting and complex wines were those that he had produced using Old World methods.

Our powerful mountain-style red wines are produced in open-topped stainless steel fermenters in which the cap of grape skins is punched down by hand to extract deep color and rich tannin. Punching down during fermentation targets the elegant tannin of the skins that rise to the top of the tank, rather than over-extracting the bitter green tannin from the seeds that sink to the bottom of the tank. Most wineries use the modern method of pumping over during fermentation, which mixes the seeds, potentially extracting undesirable weedy green flavors. Our goal is to produce wines that are balanced with regard to ripe fruit, quality tannin, and natural acidity - ultimately striving to express the pure flavors of their vineyard origin.

Our Small Family-Owned Winery in Sonoma County

Winemaker Randall Watkins, bird's-eye view of the Barn Block Cabernet Sauvignon on the rugged slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains.
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