At the northern end of Alexander Valley on Chianti Road, the J. Rickards Ranch is a twofold operation: both a family-owned and operated 60 acre vineyard, plus a small winery and tasting room. Grapes from the ranch provide several local wineries with some of their best fruit and the Rickards Winery’s wines that are sustainably farmed on the ranch show Alexander Valley’s best character traits and true pride of work. Founded, owned, and operated by Jim and Eliza Rickards, the winery was opened in 2005 but the history of the property goes much farther back with the original 1908 Zinfandel field blend vines – the vineyard that produces Rickard’s signature wine. Along with the diligent farming of their historic vines, the Rickards consider themselves more than just winemakers – but rather as stewards of this special historic property.
Jim and Eliza’s “Darn Fine Brown Barn” built back in 1997, has since evolved from housing tractors to become a rustic tasting room overlooking Alexander Valley, and the Rickards’ wines are nurtured in the winery’s uniquely-engineered underground cellars. Tastings are by appointment, retail purchasing and picnics are available, and guests are invited to pre-order a picnic from the local market, or to simply take a stroll among the ranch’s old Zinfandel vines.
J. Rickards grows and produces several varietals from “The Ranch” including Cabernet and a GSM but Zinfandel lovers should ask if the exceptional 1908 Old Vine, Brignole Vineyard, or Ancestor Zinfandels are available to taste.