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 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.

Our oldest vineyard is planted to a field blend of Dijon clones 115, 667, and 777. We introduced Clone 828 to the vineyard in spring 2008 and are carefully developing each block to its full potential. Our vineyard totals roughly 5 planted acres.

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 remain small 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.

This land is home to us and our 3 fox terroirs (great gopher hunters!). The vines are beautiful throughout the year and heavy with tight clusters in high summer. We farm with care to compliment and maintain our oak groves, open fields and seasonal stream.

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