Handley Cellars Vineyards
As with all good winemakers, Milla's insistence on quality starts with her vineyards.
Handley Cellars currently owns two vineyards: one at our estate in the Anderson
Valley, and one in the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County.
The Estate Vineyard
The fog and breezes that meander in from the coast, make Anderson Valley one of
the coolest wine growing regions in California. The cool mornings and evenings,
and warm sunny days at our estate provide an ideal climate for growing our 12
acres of Pinot Noir, 4 acres of Gewürztraminer, and 13 acres of Chardonnay. All
of our sparkling wines are now produced entirely from estate fruit, and so are
some of our reserve Pinot Noirs and our Estate Chardonnay.
Because vineyards in the Anderson Valley are interspersed with homes and watersheds,
Milla made the decision in 1990 to farm using sustainable agricultural methods.
José Jimenez, our estate vineyard manager, Deny Dudzik, our co-winemaker, and
Greg Young, our consultant, work together as a team to keep our vines thriving.
They use composting and mineral supplements to build the soil, thus fostering
stronger plants that are less susceptible to disease. By avoiding the use of pesticides,
they allow many predatory and benefical insects to flourish and do their pest
control for them. The vines are also able to tolerate more insect damage before
the crop is adversely affected.Before your next visit to our winery, call ahead
and ask for a tour of our vineyard. They are always fun and educational!
The Dry Creek Vineyard The Handley family owns a twenty
acre vineyard in Sonoma County's Dry Creek Valley. It is planted on flat land
near the Russian River in deep, sandy loam. Although the vines can produce up
to ten tons per acre, we keep the tonnage much lower so that the Chardonnay and
Sauvignon Blanc grapes maintain their intensity. Because this growing region is
much warmer and the soil is very unlike that in Anderson Valley, grapes produced
here have a very different character than those grown in the Anderson Valley.
Milla's fans always enjoy comparing her two different Chardonnays. The tropical
aromas and rich flavor of the Dry Creek Chardonnay poses a wonderful contrast
to the leaner Estate Chardonnay with its apple and pear qualities.