Alexander Valley Archives - Please The Palate
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I had never heard of Garden Creek when I was invited to an intimate dinner in the vineyard to celebrate 50 years. 50 years of grape growing and I had never heard of them. But what struck me from the moment I arrived, aside from the beauty of the vineyard, was the love. There was the love between owners Justin and Karin and love for their land and that is what I wrote about in the Napa Valley Register and share below. Fifty years of growing grapes. Nineteen years of making wine. And you have probably not heard of them, as I had not until I visited them recently. Located in the Alexander Valley, Garden Creek Ranch Vineyards and Winery is a story of love: love for the land, love for the wine and love for the people.
Owners Karin Warnelius-Miller and Justin Miller were raised on the 100-acre property, of which 72 acres are planted. Justin’s American father and Swedish mother purchased the first 54 acres in 1963, planting vines in 1969. They purchased more property in 1970. They named the property Garden Creek Ranch after the creek on the northside of the property and began selling grapes to local wineries in the area. Justin began managing the vineyards at the age of 19.
Rodney Strong Vineyards recently hosted a dinner in the heart of the Rockaway Vineyard to celebrate the release of three single vineyard cabernet sauvignons from the Alexander Valley. Overlooking the vineyard, guests dined on food by Chef Tara Wachtel while enjoying the wines of Rodney Strong with owner Tom Klein, winemakers Rick Sayre and Greg Morthole and grower relations’ manager Ryan Decker. Single Vineyard Release Party Rodney Strong Vineyards, established in 1959 by dancer Rod Strong and purchased by the Klein family in 1989, owns 12 estate vineyards in Sonoma Country. Three of the vineyards, featured at the event, are from the Alexander Valley. Alexander Valley, located at the northern end of Sonoma County, 22 miles long and adjacent to the Russian River, has 15,000 acres are planted on hillsides to the east and west. Best known for growing Bordeaux varietals, the Alexander Valley is one of the warmer regions in Sonoma County. The region received its AVA status in 1984.