VOLUME 9, ISSUE 49
October 20, 2014
In 1958, Barney and Kathleen Fetzer purchased a run-down 720-acre ranch in Redwood Valley. They saw the Mendocino wine industry as a dark horse poised for a big comeback and went about renovating the property and planting Fetzer’s first vines. Two years later the California “wine boom” began, and by 1968 Fetzer’s first commercial vintage (2,500 cases of red table wine) was crated, shipped and sold, putting it on the map.
By 1977, the Fetzer staff had grown considerably but was still little more than an extended family. The company totaled about 20 people (the Fetzer family and a bottling crew of about ten) and was producing around 30,000 cases a year. The focus at that time was primarily single vineyard Zinfandels and Cabernets from local Mendocino growers.
By 1992, Fetzer had become a mainstay with consumers nationwide. Brown-Forman Corporation purchased Fetzer, offering the support needed to accelerate its quality goals. Fetzer introduced a Merlot, built an on-site barrel cooperage company in 1993, and recently completed work on a second winery in Paso Robles – Five Rivers Ranch, which produces a credible, value-priced Pinot Noir. Today, Fetzer is the sixth largest producer of premium wines.
Articles About Fetzer Vineyards
2005 Fetzer Vineyards Valley Oaks Pinot Noir Vin De Pays D’OC
12.5% alc., $9. Pinot Noir grapes are sourced from the Languedoc-Roussillon region. Dennis Martin is the winemaker. · Candied fruit (JuJu B’s) and violet aromas. Flavors of black raspberry, licorice, game and tar with plenty of tannin. A hardy drink with substantial structure. Little resemblance to Pinot Noir. Reviewed February 18, 2008 ARTICLE »
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