The land on which the Valley of the Moon Winery and Vineyards is located has an illustrious past. Once, it was part of the vast 48,000-acre Agua Caliente Land Grant owned by General Mariano Vallejo. Subsequently it changed owners several times until 1863 when the "Stone Tract" portion of the property was conveyed to Mr. George Whitman. According to the best records, Mr. Whitman was the first owner to grow wine grapes on the land. He built a winery and by 1876 his enterprise was a successful one, annually producing 50,000 gallons of wine and 2,000 gallons of brandy. In 1881, Whitman granted a portion of his property to the Sonoma & Santa Rosa Railroad Company. A passenger train station was built and tracks from Sonoma to Glen Ellen were laid down. Two years later, Whitman sold the property to Mr. Eli T. Sheppard, former consul to China, and later an advisor in international law to the emperor of Japan. Sheppard named the property "Madrone Vineyards" and in 1887 began constructing the first of two stone wine cellars on it. Due to poor health, Sheppard retired to San Francisco the following year, and sold the vineyards and winery to Senator George Hearst, father of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Senator Hearst lived on the property, further developing Madrone Vineyards into a serious winemaking operation. He proudly served his wine to guests in Washington, D.C. In 1891 Hearst died, leaving the property to his widow.

In 1905, the property passed to the Union Trust Company of San Francisco. Between 1911 and 1922, it was owned by two large wine companies - Great Western Vineyards, and the California Wine Association. In 1922, during Prohibition, the property was acquired by Mr. Louis Engelberg. As the story goes, he did not make wine, but he did take good care of the vineyards and sold his grapes to other wineries. Financial difficulties evidently forced Engelberg to take out a loan from the California Pacific Title and Trust Company; the loan was transferred to the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, which, sadly, foreclosed on the property in 1938. Until 1941, Madrone Vineyards sat neglected. In January of that year, two San Franciscans, Enrico Parducci and Peter Domenici bought the property, which by this time, extended over approximately 380 acres. From 1941 to 1956, Parducci and Domenici ran the winery and vineyards, renaming it "Valley of the Moon Winery." They sold their wines in the San Francisco area and their grapes to various local wineries including Sebastiani, Round Hill, and the Christian Brothers. The Parducci family continued to run Valley of the Moon Winery from the mid- 1950s until March 1997 when the owners of neighboring Kenwood Vineyards purchased the business and property.

Today, the Valley of the Moon Winery and Vineyards is distinguished by the marriage of its rich history with a state-of-the-art wine production facility. Embracing the traditions of Sonoma County, one of the world's most famous wine growing areas, the creation of Valley of the Moon wine begins with hand selecting the absolute highest quality fruit available - from our estate vineyards and those of a few select growers in Sonoma County. Our estate vineyards are planted in the well-drained, rocky, red volcanic soil, characteristic of the southern Sonoma Valley. They enjoy a banana belt-type micro climate, producing traditional varietals which include old-vine Zinfandel, Syrah, and Sangiovese grapes with intense colors and flavors.

The same rigorous standards of quality control are applied in our brand new winemaking facility as in the vineyard. From whole cluster pressing and careful separation of press fractions, to barrel fermentation and aging in small French and American oak barrels, our wines are carefully nurtured. We employ the "cuvee method," which means that every wine lot is kept separate until the end of the aging period, at which time we go through extensive blending trials, basing our decisions on taste and aroma to arrive at the distinctive taste of Valley of the Moon wines.

Valley of the Moon Winery and Vineyards / 777 Madrone Road / Glen Ellen, CA  95442 / 707-996-6941



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