Hoot Owl Creek Vineyards
Alexander Valley AVA
Alison and Clay look forward to growing their small family winery
Located in the southern end of the Alexander Valley, just north of the Knight’s Valley and Napa Valley, Hoot Owl Creek Ranch is a spectacular property that was purchased by the Green family in 1959. Alison Green Doran’s father, Russell Green, thought the ranch would serve as the perfect setting for a second family home. With its frontage on the Russian River Valley and access to an excellent fishing hole, its acres of rolling hills, mountains and valleys, the sprawling property seemed to have everything Russell was looking for. What he didn’t anticipate was planting high quality wine grapes that would someday be sourced by top wineries in the neighboring regions.
At the time, Alexander Valley didn’t have a reputation for wine grapes, but the Greens followed a suggestion from the Wente family (of Wente Vineyards) and planted a range of varietals on the Hoot Owl Creek property. Russell Green became so enamored with the wine industry that he left his career in the oil business behind and purchased Simi Winery in 1969. He only owned the winery for a few years, but in that time, he brought in Andre Tchellistcheff as a consultant to insure the highest possible wine quality. Andre also became a mentor to Russell’s daughter Alison who had an interest in winemaking. With his guidance and support, Alison studied Fermentation Science at UC Davis, held internship positions in Alsace, France, and ultimately became the winemaker for Firestone Vineyard (Santa Ynez Valley) in 1981. She continued to work with Andre for another 12 years until his death in 1994.
In 2000, Alison and her husband Mark Doran moved their family up north to the Hoot Owl Creek Ranch - a setting that Alison wanted to raise her children in. She began consulting for a number of small family wineries and in 2007, started producing a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon from the family property. Her brother, Clay Green, had played a major role in the planting and developing of the family Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, and today still stands as the Winegrower for the tiny entity. Together, Alison and Clay look forward to growing their small family winery, and in the mean time, enjoy sharing the microscopic 300 case production (total!) with fellow wine enthusiasts.