The "Fetzer Vineyards" winery is located in Hopland in Mendocino County ( North Coast ) in California, The origin is in 1958 when Barney and Kathleen Fetzer bought a ranch in the Redwood Valley. The dilapidated business was rebuilt first, but the first wine was not released until 1968. Initially red wines from Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel were produced, from 1978 white wines from mainly Chardonnay, as well as Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc were added. After the founder's death in 1981, eight of his 11 children continued to expand the company, the Sundial Ranch was acquired in 1981 and the Valley Oaks Ranch in 1984. An in-house cooperage for the construction of barrique barrels was put into operation in 1993. In 2001 came in the AVA area Paso Robles ( Central Coast ) the "Five Rivers" ranch. The company was eventually sold to the spirits group Brown-Forman Corporation in 1992.
Fetzer is considered a Californian pioneer in Organic (ecological) viticulture with no artificial fertilizers and pesticides, Here this is mostly referred to as "organic viticulture". The closeness to nature is also expressed in many other projects. In a garden in Hopland, a paradise based on the model of Noah's ark was created by the guru Michael Malta from 1986 onwards. All edible plant species in the world are grown on around two hectares with thousands of types of fruit, vegetables, salads, herbs, spices and even edible flowers. There is also an extensive program with regard to environmental protection and recycling, such as own electricity generation from solar energy and recycled wastewater. Together with the University of California (Davis) a filtration system was developed in 1998. The water cleaned with sand and pebble filters is used for artificial irrigation used.
The company's own vineyards cover 800 hectares, a further 222 hectares are leased. These areas are all managed organically. There are also long-term contracts with 150 grape suppliers, some of whom are organically cultivating their vineyards with the help of Fetzer consultants. These have a total of around 3,600 hectares of vineyards. This makes Fetzer Vineyards one of the largest in the world ecologically economic wine producers. Meanwhile, the entire operation is on sustainable management aligned. Since 1999, all wines have been produced in eight different lines in the newly built North Coast winery in Hopland. These are Pacific Bay (entry-level segment), Stony Brook (excl. For specialist retailers), Hopland Ranches (excl. For gastronomy), Dual Varietals (cuvées of the middle class), Premium Varietals (pure varietal classic line), Barrel Select (100% matured in barrels) and the top line Private Collection (grapes from selected locations).
Since 1993, Bonterra has been producing vineyards Organic wines marketed. Only organically certified grapes from 400 hectares of our own vineyards are used for this. This is the "McNab Ranch", which according to the strict guidelines of the Biodynamic viticulture is operated. The flagship company serves as a living laboratory for scientific studies to demonstrate the influence and methods necessary for biodynamic work.
The vineyards cover 51 hectares of vineyards in southern Mendocino County, with Chardonnay (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petite Sirah, Merlot. Zinfandel, Syrah, Viognier, Muscat, Sangiovese, Roussanne and Marsanne are planted. The ranch has been an association since 1996 DEMETER certified as biodynamic. The first biodynamically developed wine was the red wine blend "McNab" vintage 2002, which was presented in May 2006. Another 45 hectare vineyard called "Butler Ranch" received the DEMETER certification in 2003. Most of the butler grapes are also used in Bonterra wines. Fetzer produces a total of around four million boxes of wine each year, including around 200,000 boxes under the Bonterra Vineyards label.