Prior to any planting, we spent two years at each site preparing the land.  We tilled the property twice and “fed” the land with the grass and oat over-crop that was planted in the spring.  Main-line irrigation and all of the “hardscape,” the trellising, wires and drip lines were the next step.  After 2-3 years, we were ready to plant.

The initial planting was done in June 2006 on Pat’s birthday when we planted roughly 8 acres of Tempranillo, Malbec and Viognier.  Surviving the first winter was tough as it was pretty cold, but the wind machine worked as planned.   Although the Viognier did not do as well as the Malbec and Tempranillo, our losses were not too bad.  We replanted in the spring of 2007 and the replacement vines did very well after that.

Watching those first bud breaks and grapes come alive was pretty awesome!
Our first harvest in October 2007 was icing on the cake as we did not expect anything.  We ended up competing with the birds, as we did not net any of our grapes.  We actually picked and delivered just under a ton of fruit ~ yes, the birds got at least that much too!!  As a result of that experience, we will definitely net in 2008.  Schmidt Family Vineyard co-fermented the Tempranillo and Viognier and we had our very first single case of our very own Dana Campbell Vineyard 2007 “Vionillo.”  That first case did not go very far, but we were excited none the less and have trademarked our first label!

Our first real harvest was in 2008 and we sold all of our grapes to Schmidt Family Vineyards in return for wine with our label.  These red wines were aged for 18 months in the barrel and another 18 months in the bottle.  Both the Malbec and Tempranillo from these first two vintages have been award winning wines. 

In 2009, we had more Viognier than Schmidt Family Vineyards could process, and as such we began our new relationship with Linda Donovan at Pallet Wine Company.  Although we are thrilled to be with Pallet, we feel exceptionally privileged to have worked and learned from Cal Schmidt at Schmidt Family Vineyard and hope to continue that relationship. 

2008 was another milestone year for us as we purchased the adjacent 20 acres (thanks to the Zias) and began the process of grooming and tilling that land.  We planted the first 3 sections in 2011 and with the exceptional weather that first year, we were able to harvest the Sauvignon Blanc and Mourvedre in 2012.