Farming & Winemaking - A Family Endeavor


The Story of Desmond Estate Vineyard - Bill and Danette Robbins, Proprietors 

EARLY in 2000, Bill was looking for something to keep himself "outta trouble" and realized, with a little prodding, that grape growing could be just the thing. Our property is located on Starr Road – home to some very notable vineyards – and Bill knew he could follow their lead. So, with every intention of selling the grapes to local winemakers, Bill sold his Harley, bought a fork lift, and planted the vineyard.
He made the fatal mistake of crushing our first crop to produce a barrel for us at home! From that point on, his quest to grow and produce an estate Pinot Noir with the delicate expression of our land has occupied us beyond our imagination! We became a bonded winery in 2007 and have been making wine at Vinify, our custom crush cellar in Santa Rosa ever since.
This land in the bucolic Russian River Valley is home to us and our two crazy pups, both great gopher hunters!  The position of the seasonal creek make a pleasing visual corridor with a mixture of native oak and eucalyptus trees that follow the waterway with the vines receiving full sun throughout the growing season. The vines are beautiful throughout the year and heavy with tight clusters in high summer.
We farm with care to compliment and maintain our homestead, open fields and seasonal stream.
Our vineyard is now planted to a field blend of French Dijon clones 115, 667 and 828.  We carefully develop each block to its full potential.

Our first vintage consisted of 3 barrels, lovingly tended, which produced just 80 cases. We've increased our capacity each year with the purchase of new French oak barrels and released just under 350 cases of our 2009 vintage. Our production will now remain small, around 200 cases per year so we can manage every step by hand while continuing to enjoy our day jobs!
During harvest, grapes are picked in the early morning hours so that we can bring them into the winery while still cool. Family members and friends join us at the sorting table, ensuring that the best fruit is at the start of our winemaking process.
      You know you're in deep when you trade your Harley for a forklift...
Here's to the journey!
Bill and Danette Robbins
Bill: 707-481-9201
Danette: 707-799-7449

Although we do not have a tasting facility onsite, we welcome visitors to the vineyard by appointment only.