Three owners of five wine brands have banded together to open a new tasting facility in the Suisun Valley appellation, Wines & Vines reports.
Adjacent to Napa, but still largely unknown, the area has been growing winegrapes since the late 1800s, and was recognized as an American Viticultural Area in 1982.
Doug Sparks, owner of Sunset Cellars and Twilight Ridge, leased the property that formerly housed West Wine Winery, and will pour his two brands there.
The other founding wineries are King Andrews Vineyards and Shale Peak Vineyards, owned by Roger King, and Winterhawk, owned by Don Johnson.
Each will be responsible for managing his own brands, and each will have to share in the tasting room duties, according to Jo Diaz, who handles communications for the Suisun Valley Grape Growers Association.
Another new start-up is considering joining the “co-op,” a nomenclature chosen “in order to encourage the kind of thinking that it’s going to take to launch brands in Suisun Valley,” Diaz told Wines & Vines. “Most of these farmers wouldn’t launch otherwise, as the task is so daunting for them.”
The Suisun Valley AVA spans about 15,000 acres, with approximately 3,000 acres planted to vineyards. In addition to the brands represented at the co-op, nine other wineries are members of SVGGA, which was formed in 2002.
Twenty varieties of premium winegrapes are grown in Suisun Valley, which is a sub-appellation of the California North Coast AVA.