Ram’s Gate Winery opened in the fall of 2011 as a place to press pause, to stop and savor what we love most. Our Sonoma winery focuses on small-lot Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and our aim is simple: to create the finest possible wines that only our climate and our terroir can produce.
It Begins in the Vineyard
We have the privilege to work with the marquee vineyards of Sonoma and Carneros, including Sonoma Coast’s famed Durell and Gap’s Crown Vineyards, Ulises Valdez’s admired Russian River portfolio, the Sangiacomo family’s Green Acres and Roberts Road Vineyards and from Carneros, Hyde Vineyard and Hudson Ranch along with our own estate vines, 28 acres of seven grape varieties representing the diversity and unique signature of southwestern Carneros.
Our wines are made to be food-friendly, and we like to showcase that through delicious, locally sourced food pairings crafted by our culinary team. Our chefs first taste each wine carefully, thoughtfully and repeatedly to understand its unique composition of flavors and textures. They consider the wine as an ingredient — the base ingredient — in the palate masterpiece they then create.
An Inspiring Setting
Sustainability is a difficult word to define, particularly in a place so land-focused as Sonoma Wine Country. To sustain something is to keep it going — in ecological terms, it means working with our resources in a way that cares for our environment. It means honoring the place that grows our precious vines. It means caring about the fellow living things depending on the Ram’s Gate Estate for life. Our commitment to sustainability at Ram’s Gate Winery manifests itself in several ways:
Certified Fish Friendly Farming
Fish Friendly Farming® is a process of certification for agricultural properties managed in a way that restores fish and wildlife habitat and improves water quality. This is especially paramount based on our location, so close to the San Pablo Bay and with our own Tolay Creek bordering the property. “The certification was a way of documenting current practices,” says Cameron Smith, who tends for the Ram’s Gate Estate, “and making known practices which would improve land management and water quality.”
Certified sustainable Winegrowing
Ram’s Gate Winery is honored to be a Certified Sustainable Vineyard since July of 2015. Administered by the Wine Institute and California Association of Winegrape Growers, this certification strives to advance the entire California wine industry toward best practices in environmental stewardship, conservation of natural resources and socially equitable business practices.
The certification requires a detailed list of prerequisites—measuring and recording water use, nitrogen use, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions. The detailed list of requirements can be read Here: http://www.sustainablewinegrowing.org/certifiedsustainable_prerequisites.pdf
The Ram's Gate Founders
Ram’s Gate Winery opened in the fall of 2011, founded by four friends with a shared love of wine, hospitality and design. The Ram’s Gate ownership team is led by Managing Owner Michael John, a San Francisco private equity investor and wine collector, with strong ties to the wine industry in addition to being active in environmental improvement efforts; Jeff O’Neill, the owner of O’Neill Vintners and former Chair of the Wine Institute, Paul Violich, a well-known Northern California investor and agri-business leader specializing in walnut and almond plantings; and Peter Mullin, a businessman and passionate wine grower who owns a 15-acre estate in Umbria, Italy, where he grows Sagrantino and Sangiovese grapes. Ram’s Gate Winery is the realization of their shared passion for fine wine and commitment to land stewardship.