Arbor Bench Vineyards
Sonoma County region
Arbor Bench wines are celebrated for their expressive varietal character and complexity.
Located just a few miles north of Healdsburg in Sonoma County's famed Dry Creek Valley, Arbor Bench Vineyards has provided premium grapes to California's premier wineries since 1984. Now, the celebrated vineyard site is producing its own estate-grown wines with the help of Winemaker Chris Markell and vineyard owner Janet Hart. Since their first release in 2005, Arbor Bench Vineyards has earned an award-winning reputation and the wines are celebrated for their expressive varietal character and complexity.
Janet Hart, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana native, originally moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a dance/choreographer career and ended up as a Business Attorney. However, living on the beach in Southern California, she missed the magnificent oak trees and lush greenery of Louisiana, and she eventually felt compelled to move and find a place where her family and kids could enjoy the great outdoors - where they could climb trees, hike in the beautiful terrain, and even swim in a pond. It was this yearning that led Janet to Sonoma County and ultimately to Arbor Bench, which has been more fulfilling than she ever thought possible.
Janet and her family purchased the 100-acre Arbor Bench property in 1984 and shortly thereafter, planted 33 acres to vineyards, leaving the rest to native woodland. They chose to plant Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, which are Bordeaux-inspired varietals that grow especially well on this property, which is home to distinctive red benchland soils. Unlike the sandy loam soils of much of the valley floor, this rare soil type is prized for producing grapes of exceptional complexity and flavor. In fact, for over two decades, Arbor Bench Vineyard's fruit has been in high demand from several well-known wineries including Clos de Bois, Dry Creek Vineyard, Kendall Jackson, Rodney Strong Vineyards and Gloria Ferrer, among others. The quality of the fruit only continues to improve over time.
The winemaker for Arbor Bench Vineyards is Chris Markell, who brings over thirty years of winemaking experience to the team. He has worked for several prestigious wineries in California, France, Australia, and Chile, and over time, has developed the ability to highlight the finest expressions from each varietal and vineyard.
We are proud to share Arbor Bench Vineyards with our Gold Plus Wine Club members and hope you enjoy this award-winning wine. Cheers!