Cline Family Cellars in Sonoma, California is a family-owned and operated winery focused on a passion for winemaking and ground-based wine making. In 1982, in Oakley, California, Fred Cline founded Cline Family Cellars producing his first vintages from the original plantations of Mourvedre, Zinfandel, and Carignane, some of which date back to the 1880s.
Fred acquired a 350-acre horse farm in Carneros in 1989 and moved the winery to the county of Sonoma. He started planting varieties, including vineyards devoted to Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne, as one of the original Rhone Rangers. Fred and his wife Nancy have continued to plant vineyards throughout Sonoma County since those first plantations, growing to include more traditional varieties such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Chardonnay.
Vineyards and Farming Practices
Cline Cellars is best known from Contra Costa County for the development of their “old vines.” Charlie Tsegeletos, who entered the company in 2000, is the head winemaker. The Cline’s renowned Oakley vineyards are planted by Mourvèdre, Carignane, Grenache, Palomino and Zinfandel. The vines’ age ranges from 80-120 years. Around 42 acres of Carignane and Zinfandel vines were planted in 1906 and 1925, and up to 1920 14 acres of Mourvèdre vines were planted. The sandy soil of Contra Costa County is naturally resistant to phylloxera. The vineyards of Contra Costa County are all on their original rootstock, and the vine-eating aphid has never affected newer plants.
The winery has expressed commitment to sustainability, and this dedication is reflected in the processes of their farming. Once 34,625 square feet of solar panels were installed, it became the second largest solar-powered winery in California. Cline calls its agricultural practices Green String certified for its use of natural cover crops to feed fields, the method of using sheep to eradicate weeds in the vineyards, and the use of compost teas instead of petroleum equivalents.
The degustation room is housed in a rustic farmhouse, originally built in the 1850s, surrounded by six spring-fed ponds and thousands of rose bushes. The winery is open daily for viewing and tasting to the public and interested parties are given a wine club.
California Missions Museum
In 2005, to honor the site’s history and association with the Sonoma Mission, Nancy Cline opened the California Missions Museum on the grounds. The museum was designed to house a complete set of California Mission models built by a team of German cabinet makers for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exhibition. In 1998, the Cline family saved models off the California Mission from individual auctioning and created the museum for display. The museum also features a life-sized figure of Father Junipero Serra, mission paintings by Robert Morris and Henry Nelson, and two stained-glass panels originally housed in San Francisco’s Mission Dolores prior to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The museum is open to the public daily and admission is free of charge.
This amazing landmark is located near the following sites in Brentwood, California:
- Hannah Nicole Vineyards,
- Bloomfield Vineyards,
- Tamayo Family Vineyards
- Blue Goose Park
- Veteran’s Park
- Brentwood’s CoCo County Wine Company
- King Park
- Dakota Park
- Sunset Park Athletic Complex
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