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by Fred McMillin
Winery of the Week
Why Fels Sells
The Rest of the Story
The "trespasser" was the new owner of the property, David Coleman, who, with wife Ayn Ryan, would soon build a fairyland winery on the site, (pictured). The nearly vertical tract was so inhospitable it had been on the market for seven years... which was the reason future-neighbor George Corrick thought Coleman must be an intruder.
A Batty Project
So wine-label-designer David Coleman paid $32,000 in 1978 for the land, first built their home, then added the winery. Slow going. They moved in before they even had a complete roof over their heads...during dinner what would sometimes fly in through the incomplete ceiling?...Bats!
Ayn says that for a while it was, "sell a case, buy a shingle." Was it worth the struggle? Let's see what Prof. John Baxevanis thinks.
Adler Fels Chardonnays landed with a bang in my tastings eight years ago. On May 2, 1992 the regular won Best White. The very next week, on May 9th, the first-ever Reserve Chardonnay also won Best White. Since then, they've received praise from the top...Robert Parker, Jr., the Wine Spectator, and others. Hence, if you want to try a Fels, Chardonnay is a fine place to start. If you're an ABC-er (Anything But Chardonnay), then it's the Sauvignon Blanc. First produced in 1982, it has been given even more praise than the Chardonnays. The couple also have added two reds, Syrah and Sangiovese. WineDay will be reporting on them soon.
The whites range from $11 to $16...good values for such quality. The reds are $20. The grapes come chiefly from the Russian River Valley's various microclimates.
Your contact is (707) 539-3123, FAX (707) 539-3128.
Postscript—The Name Game
On the Mayacamas Range, Mother Nature has carved in granite a profile of an eagle. In German, "adler" is "eagle" and "fels" is "rock."
05/17/00—High on a Lonely Hill
05/16/00—A Large Lab
05/15/00—The Pioneering Pedroncellis
05/12/00—Trouble at Telmo
05/11/00—A Mother's Day Travail
05/05/00—Mendocino. Where's the Vino?
05/04/00—Pink Gets No Ink
05/02/00—Black and White
05/01/00—Your May 1st Symphony
This page created May 2000