Twelve Stones is family owned
Our vineyard journey started out as a grove of olive trees. Affie, who would love nothing better than to grow his own olives and press his own oil, was sadly disappointed to find out our property was not in the least supportive for olives. However, it was “world class” for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
All I could say at this point in our journey was, “Praise the Lord!” I love wine.
For more than a decade, I have wanted to grow grapes on our property and now we had confirmation. What to do next? Google of course. I have no idea what I searched for, but I eventually found a company to help us start our vineyard; Coastal Range Vineyards (CRV)! What a godsend!
It was the fall of 2014 and California was in a drought. Who in their right mind would plant a vineyard in a drought? Planting would not actually start until the spring of 2015 so we were buying ourselves some time and hoping for the best. We definitely had a peace about moving forward. Now we had to wait until the spring to actually plant the vines… which meant more decisions had to be made.
Being a red wine kind of gal, we decided on planting Pinot Noir, but what variety? Of course we wanted quality wine which required quality grapes yet we were novices, what to do? We had so many questions. Root stock, clones, organic/non-organic, north/south verses east/west - yikes! CRV recommended we visit Heart O’ The Mountain, a vineyard in the same micro-climate and elevation as ours and not too far away as the crow flies. We contacted this vineyard and were overwhelmed with the owner’s willingness to see us and his graciousness at educating us. Heart O’ The Mountain grows five varietals of Pinot. Bob Brassfield, the owner, opened his heart and his barrels to us! We sampled each variety and then mixed some together. We were blown away - were all the people in this industry so nice? We decided on two varietals, 777 and Pommard, which tasted wonderful on their own and exceptional when mixed.
Fast forward to 2018 when our first bottles were delivered. As fate would have it, we were hosting a dinner party that weekend. All 14 guests, including children, had a glass of Twelve Stones Pinot Noir 2017 in hand. We drank together. The kids made faces, the adults all gleamed with joy, one girlfriend had tears in her eyes. We LOVED the wine! So much so that we decided to plant more!
2019 found us planting two more varietals of Pinot Noir; 115 and 943 along with a Rhone style Syrah - I mean, why not? We were told the Syrah is considered the ‘masculine’ whereas the Pinot is considered the ‘feminine’ in the wine world. Mmmm, let’s see.
As I write this ‘About Us’, the 2019 grapes were harvested this year and are currently aging in barrels. Can’t wait to taste them next year.
Retired Software Engineer, homeschool mom and Ironman, Karen handles the full business operations of Twelve Stones Winery. Baking, canning, biking, swimming and making memories with her family, are a few of her favorite things.
Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Affie had to come to the US not
only to further his Software Engineering career but to meet Karen. She needed help debugging her software! Acclimating to country life has come easy for him. When he’s not creating software you’ll find him farming, cooking, or spending time with his family.
When Peter is not crafting wine in the cellar or working in the vineyards, he likes to spend time with his wife, Betsy, enjoying the outdoors, attending Giants games, and enjoying hoppy beers.
Nick has worked for several wineries: Joseph Phelps, Halter Ranch, Thomas Fogarty, spent a few years perfecting his craft at vineyards throughout Australia, France, Chile, Oregon and New Zealand. When Nick is not in the vineyards, we can find him in the cellar chasing his passion for wines or out on the slopes or in the surf. He loves to stay active and outdoors!