(first published 6/16 | shared with permission from binNotes)
I’ll never forget my first trip to Dry Creek Valley. Splayed out silently in the early morning mist like gnarled soldiers on a battlefield stretched acres of old vines, mostly Zinfandel. Like other powerful moments in life, this one merited my full attention. So this is what struggle looks like.
Some struggles produce the sweetest rewards. Pedroncelli Winery understands this. Nearly ninety years of arduous vine tending and meticulous wine making distill down into soulful drams reflective of this thoughtful family’s site.
Recently, Julie Pedroncelli St. John shared her story with me – a story about family, sense of place, sustainability, and devotion to The Mother Clone.
WOW Sonoma County is proud to share the first in a series of profiles and reviews. In this space, we’ll feature some of the most hardworking women in the region, along with their finely crafted wines. Award-winning writers will help forge this exploration. Join us!
What does it take to make a new business successful?This question burns in any entrepreneur’s mind as she maps out a business plan and powers forth. While seasoned executives inevitably have insight to share, some of the most powerful answers can arise from those who are just setting out on their way. Jennifer Reichardt is a Petaluma native embarking on her third year as principal of Raft Wines. As the company name subtly implies, her secret to success is: a strong support network.
If Reichardt is bastioned by a little help from her friends, she gives back in equal measure, volunteering regularly in the community. Her latest wine offerings include a skin-contact Viognier from the Sierra Foothills, Syrah from Dry Creek Valley, and Grenache from Lake Mendocino.
Could you talk about the name of your brand, Raft Wines?
The most literal sense of the name is a fun way to refer to a community of waterfowl, like ducks. When you see a group of ducks floating on a pond, it is a “raft” of ducks.
Yet the name means so much more. We have been through a lot as a family, and I wouldn’t be here without the support of them, or my amazing community. I like to think that my community has been my raft, keeping me afloat on this crazy journey.
You grew up on a duck farm. What were some of the lessons you learned watching your parents run that business, particularly one based in agriculture?