The Anderson Valley is blessed with an abundance of beautiful vineyards: most are perched on hillsides, overflowing like a fermentation bin with overactive yeast. But some are in swales and flats, making for easier farming, but for the persistent threat of frost in the spring.
Such is Ferrington Vineyard, one of the largest in the Valley at 78 acres on a 160-acre parcel. Purchased by Bay Area builder Kurt Schoeneman, whose daughter, Sarah, helped him locate this idyllic vineyard spot in 1996, the property sports Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, six clones of Pinot Noir (for a total of 45 acres) and Sauvignon Blanc. The property, part of a former 6k-acre sheep farm, had been planted in the 60s and 70s as part of a tax shelter, and had been allowed to go fallow by Dr. Ferrington, the former owner. Says Kurt, who lives here with his wife, Heather,
I wanted a bucolic lifestyle. I’d spent my summers as a kid at a cabin my Dad bought for $750 near the Russian River: we spent the entire summer barefoot. The first couple weeks were always a little rough! I looked at land in Alexander Valley, Mendocino and almost bought a Chardonnay Vineyard in Potter Valley, but it fell through. This place was a wreck when I found it: nearly 70 acres of vines were dead. But I loved the setting.
– Kurt Schoeneman
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