Andrew Mariani, a rising star in the California wine world, is immensely talented and wildly non-conforming. Who the heck grows Sylvaner in Sonoma? And with indigenous yeasts? These wines are mind-bogglingly delicious!

In 1858, Emil Dresel, son of a famous German sparkling wine producer, purchased this land and began a vineyard with cuttings he had smuggled into the country, among the first Riesling and Sylvaner plants brought to the US! Emil, and brother Jacob, enjoyed great acclaim for their wines in the early 1900s. Prohibition put a stop to their “legal” sale of vino, but with the help of San Francisco’s finest, their business continued to thrive as a bootlegger’s gateway.

Although relative newcomers to these storied vineyards, the brothers Mariani are old-hat at the business of farming, being fourth generation agrarians. Andrew, along with brother Adam and winemakers Kristof Anderson and Andrew Avellar, manage their vineyards with a respect to the whole ecosystem. They call it “Forever Wild Farming”. This is based on the understanding that a vineyard managed in harmony with the greater ecosystem results in more site-specific, terroir-driven grapes. They are mere visitors (scribes of the land, if you will) and want to revive this beautiful vineyard in a way that is in lock-step with the land’s natural patterns. To this end, they have implemented some impressive practices: no use of chemicals on the property; the fostering of an insectary; and organic plantings of an heirloom orchard, vegetable garden and diverse landscapes to encourage more biodiversity.

There is a reason the wine world is buzzing about this dynamic team; the wines are focused, precise, ethereal and not to be missed!