Wood Family Vineyards
Livermore Valley AVA
"We never intend to get beyond the family style or boutique level winery."
There exists an excellent story behind the founding of Wood Family Vineyards. In 1991, Rhonda Wood was a pilot for US Airways and found herself pregnant with her first child. While on maternity leave, she read that beer was good for breast milk and started brewing her own blend. After three years, she realized she enjoyed wine more than beer and began making her own wine.
Soon thereafter, Rhonda and her husband Michael found a property in the South Eastern hills of Livermore Valley AVA that they bought and planted it with a number of different varietals. Rhonda pursued her avocation and continued to learn about making wine. She worked two harvests at nearby Livermore Valley Cellars and began taking courses from UC Davis and other sources that would increase her knowledge of the art of winemaking.
Her ultimate dream of a producing winery reached fruition in 1998 with the first release of Wood Family Vineyards. Even though the production was limited to only 50 cases, the Woods were determined to continue their business in the wine industry. “Our production increased little by little,” offered oldest son Harrison Wood, the company’s Executive Vice President. “The future looks bright and we intend to continue our growth. We hope to reach between 6 and 10,000 someday, but we will leave that for the wine gods to decide.”
Wood Family Vineyards currently has 14 acres under vine but intends to replant most of the acreage in the near future. “We will replant to mostly Bordeaux varietals,” Wood continued. “It’s all about us figuring out just where we want to be. We never intend to get beyond the family style or boutique level winery. We want to be able to control our destiny, and, by being smaller, we can certainly do that.”
The Wood Family Vineyards label points directly to that purpose. A wooden car portrays the family’s interest in all things woody. The car’s license plate, WFV988, stands for Wood Family Vineyards, and the 988, September 1988, when Michael and Rhonda got married. Harrison Wood is particularly proud of the Zinfandel the company produces, because “Zinfandel is what put us on the map in the first place.”
All decisions as to final blends are made by committee. In addition to Rhonda and Harrison, the company’s assistant winemaker, general manager and cellar master all have a voice. “We sit around a table and discuss options and possibilities. Rhonda has the final word, but we all listen to each other. This has been successful in the past and we are happy with the results.”
We know our Garagiste Wine Club members will enjoy this fantastic small-production wine!