In 1980, the Bass family found a run-down vineyard sitting just up in the hills that overlook the small town of Guerneville, California. It was an arduous task, but they were set on reviving the vines planted there 100 years prior. Decades of heavy farming had left the soil eroded and depleted of nutrients, so the family looked to biodynamic and organic farming strategies to renew the vineyard's vitality. This process required time and patience – and the long-awaited rewards have come over generations, rather than years.
Winemaker Luke Bass launched his career long before taking his first paid job. He spent his childhood in that same hard-won vineyard, and was imbued with a natural understanding of grape-growing and winemaking. He left the estate to earn his degree in economics from U.C. Santa Cruz, but soon returned to winemaking, working in prestigious wineries around the world. His journey finally led him home, where he runs the vineyards and winery that bear his name.
In the winery, the human influence is limited as much as possible. Vineyards are closely monitored so grapes are harvested at the ideal ripeness. Fermentation starts slow and begins with indigenous yeasts. The fruit for red wines is left whole. The use of new oak barrels for aging is limited to 40% of all barrels. All of this careful attention to detail, letting the grapes thrive, creates a greater expression of the grapes and the terroir that Porter-Bass has fought to nurture.