History

1895

Early planting of Zinfandel on this land by the Guadagni family.

1973

Purchase of first Dry Creek parcel: the Hartsock Ranch, prunes and pears with a few acres of grapes.

1973

Lou & Susan’s first date. Susan showed up barefoot.

1974

Planting of new vineyards begins. Sauvignon Blanc was the first new grape, inspired by Lou’s friend Dave Stare, of Dry Creek Vineyards.

1974

Lou & Susan marry in Calaveritas, Susan’s childhood home.

1975

First winery is established in the historic prune dehydrator on the Hartsock Ranch. Everything was improvised.

1978

Fortuitious confusion between PS and SY led to first planting of Rhone varietal: Syrah.

Early 1980’s

Experimentation with alternative varietals such as Gamay, Muscat and Chenin Blanc.

1981

New winery is erected with capacity of 12,000 cases, architect John Picchi.

1982

First commercial label designed by Sebastian Titus. photo

1982

Preston’s “Cuvee de Fume” wins 5 gold medals in major competitions.

1988

Wine production peaks at 30,000 cases. New tasting room and commercial kitchen added to winery.

1989

“Suitcase” importation of grafting wood for Italian oil-olive trees.

1994

Lou’s hobby bread baking leads to a home-made adobe, wood-fired oven.

1994

First home pressing of olive oil

1996

Susan receives her Master of Fine Arts degree from Mills College in Oakland, CA.

1997

Preston joins Healdsburg Farmers Market, as vendors of bread and vegetables.

1997

Construction of commercial bakery with brick oven by Alan Scott.

2000

Lou meets Amigo Bob Cantisano, and makes commitment to organic farming.

2001

Preston Vineyards is re-envisioned as Preston of Dry Creek and downsizes to 8,000.

2001

Introduction of new signature blends: L.Preston and Madam Preston

2001

Matt Norelli becomes winemaker at Preston.

2002

Preston introduces jug wine honoring local old-timer Jim Guadagni, still available every Sunday in the cellar.

2002

Lou & Susan attend their first EcoFarm conference.

2002

First organic certification by CCOF.

2003

Lou begins conversion of tractors and personal vehicles to run on waste vegetable oil.

2003

Began riparian restoration of creek frontage, designed by Evan Engber of Bioengineering.

2005

Began installation of hedgerows, guided by Rose Roberts of Farm Stewards, among others.

2007

First plantings of grain for estate loaves.

2008

Serious crop diversification begins, replacing some vineyard blocks damaged by winter freeze.

2008

First flock of Katahdin sheep introduced as a component of holistic farm management, followed by chickens and pigs.

2010

Preston begins farming biodynamically, under the guidance of Philippe Corderay.

2011

Introduction of first sulfite-free Organic Syrah.

2015

Biodynamic certification by Demeter USA

2015

First hard apple cider produced using estate apples.