Frank Family Acquires Historic Wood Ranch

It’s always fun when a winery that has been championed by the wine clubs of Vinesse makes news (in a good way, of course).

We featured some of Frank Family Vineyards’ first vintages of the new millennium, and now the Napa Valley winery has made a big move to secure its future well into the 21st century.

Here are excerpts from a press release issued just before Thanksgiving…

Frank Family Vineyards has announced the purchase of the Wood Ranch Vineyard Estate, a historic 87-acre property in Rutherford, Calif., with 70 acres of grapevines.

For three generations, the property was owned and developed by the family of Frank “Laurie” Wood, a Napa Valley grape grower and icon.

The Wood Ranch Vineyard Estate is located off of Conn Creek Road, and is in close proximity to Rich Frank’s home and hillside vineyard, Winston Hill.

“We are thrilled to have brought this established first-growth quality land into our family of vineyards,” says Frank. “It will contribute to our expansion of estate-driven wines.”

Frank Family Vineyards, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has steadily expanded its vineyard properties. In addition to the Wood Ranch Vineyard Estate, the winery also has the Lewis Vineyard in Napa Carneros, the S&J Vineyard in Capell Valley (both named after the Frank family grandchildren) and Rich Frank’s personal estate, Winston Hill.

The Wood family traces its roots to the California Gold Rush. In 1917, a chance encounter between Frank Wood, a young Berkeley graduate working as a farm advisor, and Betty Cole, a Rutherford rancher’s niece, culminated in their marriage and inheritance of the land that would be known as Wood Ranch.

Frank Wood began growing grapes on his new land, and his son Laurie took over the briskly growing vineyard in the 1950s, caring for the grapes for over half a century.

While different varietals have been planted at different times, today the land is planted to 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel, with the remaining 20% planted to Chardonnay.

We look forward to tasting Frank Family Vineyards’ Wood Ranch cuvees in the future, and congratulate the family on their purchase of such a history-steeped and revered vineyard.

Posted in The Wine Business
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