Davis Family Vineyards
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Country of Origin: USA
Location: Healdsburg, Sonoma
People: Guy Davis, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Guy Davis’ wine roots run deep, reaching back to the age of nineteen when he worked in a French restaurant in Seattle while pursuing an economics degree at the University of Washington. After the last customer left and the doors closed, Guy would retire to the kitchen to make dinner for the owner and chef before joining them for a night of food, wine and conversation. “The time I spent eating with those French guys, experiencing great wine and fine cuisine, set a very high standard within me,” says Davis. “I realized that I had had more exposure to wine than most Americans, and it was only a matter of time before my passion center would push me into a career in the wine industry.”
In 1988, he created opportunities to work on winery finance projects and by the fall of 1988 had moved to Sonoma County. By 1989, Guy had started working as the wine buyer for a mail order wine company specializing in wine from small, boutique wineries. These small artisan winemakers became a real inspiration. Davis became determined to learn and master the craft of winemaking and signed on to work the 1989 harvest at Sky Vineyards, a little winery atop Mount Veeder in Napa Valley. “This was my revelation—things came into clear focus,” says Davis. He took every viticulture and enology class offered at the college in Santa Rosa and pursued night and weekend courses at the University of California at Davis. In 1995, Davis produced his first commercial vintage: 250 cases of old vine Zinfandel from the Russian River Valley. In 1996, he bought his own vineyard in Russian River Valley comprised of 100-year-old Zinfandel vines (planted in 1896) and, in 1997, crushed his first vintage under the Davis Family Vineyards label.
Today, Guy Davis’ two sons Cole and Cooper work alongside him in the winery and vineyards. His wife Judy assists with hospitality at the winery and represents Davis Family Vineyards at marketing and sales events across the US. It is a small family operation where everything matters from vineyard to bottle, and they literally handcraft each and every one. Guy and Judy live next to their Soul Patch Vineyard and farm it organically. Guy and his sons work minimally in the cellar: native ferments, minimal sulfites, no fining or filtration on the reds, and native malolactic ferments.
PinotFile: Winery of the Year: Davis Family Vineyards
Modern Luxury: The Best Wineries You've Never Heard of in Russian River Valley
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