The Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards
Founded as a vineyard company in 1973, Sonoma-Cutrer's foundation was built upon a selection of several key vineyard properties in the marginal benchlands, hillsides and rocky foothills in what later became recognized as the Sonoma Coast Appellation.
Initially, the company planted several different grape varieties. By the end of the '70s, Sonoma-Cutrer's Chardonnay grapes had a reputation for exceptional quality and were in great demand by premium wineries. Discussions about creating a cutting-edge winery took root, and Sonoma-Cutrer organized a cadre of wine experts. Under the guidance of this legendary group, the decision was made to focus on one wine: Chardonnay produced exclusively from Sonoma-Cutrer's own vineyards. Ground was broken for a new winery in 1981.
Over the next several years, a winery that is the envy of the industry was constructed at the Cutrer Vineyard, home base for the vineyard operation. Sonoma-Cutrer built prototype sorting tables and cooling tunnels to preserve the highest-quality grapes. In addition, Sonoma-Cutrer was one of the first wineries in California to use membrane presses to crush whole clusters of grapes and to construct a temperature- and humidity-controlled cave-like cellar for barrel aging. No expense was spared in the production of the wine.