In the latter part of the 1800s, Oakley, Contra Costa County was a booming farming community with thousands of acres of orchards and healthy vineyards. Fred Cline’s maternal grandfather, Valeriano Jacuzzi of pump and spa fame, called this place home. On summer visits to his grandparents, Fred learned both the love of agricultural life and the mysteries of vinifying grapes into wine. These lessons led Fred to obtain a degree in Agriculture Management from U.C. Davis. In 1982, with an inheritance from his grandfather, Fred founded Cline Cellars near Oakley, California. Here, he preserved and r estored many ancient vine sites to their rightful reign as premier California wine lands.
In 1991, Fred and his wife Nancy relocated the winery from Oakley to the Carneros region of Sonoma County on a historic 350-acre estate with new vineyards and facilities. While much of the cool Carneros region is planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot, Fred pioneered the planting of Rhône varietals including Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne.
Fred’s innovation and experimentation led to producing rich, distinctive Rhône-style wines and intense, flavorful Zinfandels for which he has garnered enormous acclaim. In 2007, our 2004 Sonoma Zinfandel was rated 91 pts by the Wine Spectator, the 2004 Bridgehead Zinfandel was rated 90 pts, and the 2004 Ancient Vines Mourvèdre was named, “One of the top 100 values of the Year” by Wine & Spirits,
June 2007 issue.
sustaining our land
Since 2000, Cline Cellars farms the Green String way – naturally and sustainably and avoid chemical pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers that are generally used in everyday farming. We believe we utilize the most efficient methods towards retaining healthy vineyards by employing the use of organic cover crops, compost teas, crushed volcanic rock and oyster shell, natural mined sulfur and sheep grazing.
Once each year we reduce vineyard cultivation and degradation by providing our soil with organic matter to help retain soil structure, water infiltration, and microbial activity. Composting throughout our vineyards with nourishment derived from natural products such as grape pumice, vine prunings, and other mature organic material that we mix and nurture all year, helps to improve the texture and depth of the soil and also provides needed sustenance to the vine. “Compost Tea” is added to the vines via drip irrigation and also applied directly to the leaves. This tea contains molasses, fish emulsion to increase nitrogen content, rock dust, microbes and other nutrients.