With land purchased in 1992, founders Stew Lauterbach and his wife, Barabara Swary, planted Pinot Noir in 1996 and Syrah in 1998 in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Since 2003, production began in their garage where they have been making their wines ever since. “We have never purchased a grape and currently nearly all of our wines are made on site in our garage and are estate bottled”. Stew is a retired emergency physician with 33 years experience at the local trauma center, and Barb retired from the Council on Aging as the legal director. We continue to make small batch premium “garagiste” wines in our retirement. “We love the Russian River Valley Wine area. The wine industry in this area is always helpful and friendly. Although we are all in competition, we each want the other to succeed as well, in what is the most collegial of competition”.
In 2006, Barb said, “We don’t grow white grapes but we need a summer wine, so why don’t we make a Rosé?” In 2008, Barb said, “I’m buying too much port,” so Stew got out the books and produced the first barrel of our “port” (Syrah Dessert Wine). In 2015, Barb said, “Why don’t we make a sparkling?” And as every husband knows, “happy wife, happy life,” so Stew got out the books and made the first batch of a Pinot Noir “noir de noir,” a red sparkling pinot noir.
This has received rave reviews from our friends and wine club family.
Our educational winemaking tour on a Garagiste scale takes about an hour and half. We usually include barrel tasting and sometimes some blending, and are always willing to modify to meet your interests.