The winery "Fetzer Vineyards" is located in Hopland Mendocino County ( North Coast ) in California, The origin dates back to 1958, when Barney and Kathleen Fetzer bought a ranch in the Redwood Valley. First, the rundown operation was rebuilt, but the first wine came in 1968 on the market. Initially, red wines from Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel were produced, from 1978 were also white wines from mainly Chardonnay, as well as Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc added. After the founder's death in 1981, eight out of his total of 11 children expanded the business, and in 1981 the Sundial Ranch and in 1984 the Valley Oaks Ranch were acquired. 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 ranch "Five Rivers" added. The company was eventually sold in 1992 to the liquor company Brown-Forman Corporation.
Fetzer is considered a Californian pioneer in the Organic (organic) viticulture with abandonment of artificial fertilizers and pesticides, Here this is usually referred to as "organic viticulture". The attachment to nature is also expressed in many other projects. In a garden in Hopland was advised by the guru Michael Malta from 1986, a paradise modeled on the Noah's Ark created. On about two hectares, all the edible plant species of the world are grown with thousands of varieties of fruits, vegetables, salads, herbs, spices and even edible flowers. There is also a comprehensive program for environmental protection and recycling, such as own generation of electricity from solar energy and reprocessed wastewater. Together with the University of California (Davis), a filtration system was developed in 1998. The water thus purified by means of sand and pebble filters is considered artificial irrigation used.
Its own vineyards cover 800 hectares and another 222 hectares are leased. These areas are all managed organically. There are also long-term contracts with 150 grape suppliers, some of which organically cultivate their vineyards with the help of Fetzer consultants. These have a total of about 3,600 hectares of vineyards. This makes Fetzer Vineyards one of the world's largest ecologically operating wine producers. Meanwhile the whole operation is on sustainable business aligned. Since 1999, all wines are produced in the newly built North Coast Winery in Hopland in eight different lines. These are Pacific Bay (entry-level segment), Stony Brook (excluding specialist retailers), Hopland Ranches (excluding gastronomy), Dual Varietals (mid-range cuvées), Premium Varietals (grape variety Classic), Barrel Select (100%). expanded in oak barrels) and the top line Private Collection (grapes of selected locations).
Since 1993, under the label Bonterra Vineyards Organic wines marketed. For these only organically certified grapes are used, which come from a total of 400 hectares of own vineyards. This is once the "McNab Ranch", which follows the strict guidelines of the Biodynamic viticulture is operated. The showcase serves as a living laboratory for scientific studies to demonstrate the impact and methods necessary for biodynamic working.
The vineyards cover 51 hectares of vines 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 a member of the association since 1996 DEMETER certified as biodynamic. The first biodynamically developed wine was the red wine cuvée "McNab" vintage 2002, which was presented in May 2006. Another 45-hectare vineyard called "Butler Ranch" received DEMETER certification in 2003. The Butler grapes go for the most part also in the Bonterra wines. Every year, Fetzer produces around four million boxes of wine, of which around 200,000 boxes are produced under the label Bonterra Vineyards.