In 1982, Roger and Carmen Stuhlmuller purchased a 150-acre property located at the southwestern edge of the Alexander Valley. Impressed by the quality of the 90-acres of original 1970’s vine plantings, the Stuhlmullers realized the remarkable viticultural potential of the land. Bordered to the east by the Russian River, the vineyard is situated on a unique geological site that is part river bench and part hillside. There, the vines benefit from gravel, clay, and volcanic soils, formed during thousands of years of alluvial fan movement and flooding, as well as from rocky, uplifted bench land soils that comprise the hillside sections of the vineyard. These ancient soils combined with the area’s climatic conditions, including clockwork fog and cool nighttime temperatures, yield fruit with a signature mineral quality, good acidity and complex flavors.
Over the years, Roger and Carmen, along with their son Fritz, have meticulously developed the vineyard into 150 acres of prized Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Stuhlmullers quickly established a reputation as growers of world-class grapes, supplying such notable wineries as Chateau Souverain, Cronin, and Page Mill with fruit for highly praised single vineyard wines. Fritz was so inspired by the complex, expressive wines being made from his family’s vineyard that in 1996, he established a small, artisan winery bearing the Stuhlmuller name. By 2000, working alongside original winemaker Kerry Damskey, Fritz had achieved his goal of turning Stuhlmuller Vineyards into an estate winery by converting a historic barn on the property into a winemaking facility designed specifically for the fermentation of small lots of fruit.
While many wineries claim to be vineyard focused, as grape growers, this belief is a way of life for the Stuhlmullers. Today, the Stuhlmuller family enjoys a dual reputation as first-class grape growers and as proprietors of a respected, sustainable vineyard-driven winery. Stuhlmuller Vineyards produces roughly 10,000 cases of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon annually, with the recent addition of extremely small allotments of estate Zinfandel. The wines of Stuhlmuller Vineyards are available in top wine shops and restaurants throughout California and in select markets around the country.