Sky Pine Vineyards
Émigré’s from the SF Bay Area, in the late 80’s seeking the bucolic and romantic life style of vineyard development. What a surprise, it’s not romantic, it’s almost 24/7, 12 months a year effort. Add a winery to your job description, and it really becomes work.
Grower and Spouse names:
Kandy Ward, raised in the Oregon wilderness on the back of a horse, leading hunters into their campsites for Elk, decided mountain side vineyards in Sonoma County has far more appeal. Her husband, works for her relentlessly, (without pay).
Sky Pine Vineyards, in honor of the very large spruce visible from Hwy. 101 atop Pine Mountain. BobDog Wines, in honor of Bob the Rottweiler.
Alexander Valley, and perhaps Pine Mountain, if the current AVA petition is granted.
How long have you farmed this property?
14 years of ceaseless effort.
Total acreage managed and grape varieties planted:
15 acres planted to all of the five noble reds: cab sauvignon, merlot, cab franc, malbec and petite verdot.
Why did you become a grape grower?
The kiwi’s located on the property didn’t make enough money, and took too much water.
It’s all about the grapes. Whatever they need, and whenever they need it. Everything done today will affect the plants in 12 months. That, and lots of prayer!
What changes in farming practice do you anticipate making in the next 5 years?
With canopy and trellis fully matured, and sustainable farming in place, focus will be on the soil and its health.
What was your worst horror story in grape growing?
A crush crew member dumped a full bin of grapes in front of the winery customer, with our loveable McNabb “Caby” then taking a whittle on the pile of grapes. Needless to say; those grapes did not make it to the crusher, but did end up spread out on the vineyards floor as fertilizer.
Is your vineyard designated on any wine labels?
Yes, Rezonja Wine Cellars, and BobDog Wines. Also the vineyard was subject of a Press Democrat Article in 2008.
What is your favorite food/wine combination?
Our BobDog dry Mountain Rose’ with BBQ salmon and fresh garden vegetables; or our hearty Mountain Cabernet with blue cheese filet mignon and grilled fresh asparagus.
Employee note: Greatest length of service or other item of interest about your workforce.
Bob Dog put in 11 years of daily duty, developing the vineyards from mountain scrub brush to six national awards for wineries using our grapes. Bob left us for the other side of the Rain Bow Bridge, Thanksgiving 2007.