Floodgate Wine Company
Russian River Valley AVA
Focusing on small-lot blends from off-the-beaten-path vineyards
Although he comes from a family with extensive roots in the California wine industry, 34-year-old Woody Hambrecht is determined to incorporate some unprecedented and far-reaching objectives into his Sonoma County wineries – Alysian Wines, a decade-old luxury-premium brand with great pedigree, and Floodgate, a new sister label to Alysian with a more approachable price point.
The story starts back in 2006 when Alysian Wines was founded by Woody’s grandfather Bill Hambrecht and Gary Farrell. Both of these legendary wine figures have had long histories of success, Hambrecht with Ridge Vineyards and Belvedere Vineyards and Winery, and Farrell with Davis Bynum Winery, Rochioli Winery, and Limerick Lane, as well as his own Gary Farrell Vineyards and Winery. Bill Hambrecht had also owned Grist Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley for nearly forty years and completely oversaw the growing process. When both veterans decided to retire in 2013, grandson Woody Hambrecht took over the reins at Grist Vineyard and Alysian Wines and slowly began to change the direction of the family’s smallish Russian River Valley winery.
The Alysian wines had been wildly successful from the beginning, but Woody wanted to try something different as they moved into the second generation. For many years, Woody’s family owned large vineyards and their wineries produced hundreds of thousands of cases. Now at this time, only his family’s ranch (Grist Vineyard) and Alysian Wines were left. The fact that they were once again an artisan winery gave him a great deal of flexibility.
This flexibility led Woody to add a second label to Alysian Wines, one that he named Floodgate Wine Company. This brand would focus on small-lot blends from off-the-beaten-path vineyards, and offered at exceptional values. These wines would still be made with the same thoughtful, “no compromise” approach as the Alysian wines, but they would feature a wider selection of vineyards in the Russian River Valley region. Floodgate’s inaugural vintage was crafted in 2013 and included a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – both of which have been extremely well received. We are delighted to offer this first release of Floodgate Wine Company to our Gold Series Plus! members, and hope you follow Woody Hambrecht’s quest of evolving his multi-faceted wineries in California’s Russian River Valley.