Owners: Howard and Ann Allen
Howard and Ann Allen grow both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Williams Selyem. The Pinot Noir vineyard is divided into three areas: North Hill, South Hill and West Hill, while the Chardonnay vineyard is broken into four different blocks sensibly named Blocks 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Howard Allen was a fourth generation Californian and a UC Berkeley alumnus. He spent four years in the Pacific, in both Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After his military service, Howard went into real estate and property management in Belvedere, just north of San Francisco. Howard and Ann raised two sons and have eight grandchildren.
Howard Allen passed away on February 1, 2013. He will be missed.
Howard and Ann Allen first began growing grapes in a family vineyard in Oakville in the Napa Valley. That experience led to the expansion of their existing vineyard, and the move to growing grapes in the Russian River Valley in 1970. They believed the climate and soil there to be a natural match for Pinot Noir. Of course the Russian River Valley is now famous for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but in 1970, it was a different story. Wishing to purchase land that had been nurtured over the years, the Allens settled on a former prune orchard and pasture. Within a year the Allens had planted grapes.
Howard worked with neighbor, Joe Rochioli, and strove to “do what was best for the grape.” Soon they were producing world-class grapes that, within a short time, were being offered to the Allens’ other neighbor, Williams Selyem.
As Howard has said, “It’s the working together with the winemaker that creates great wine.” As a grower for Williams Selyem since 1980, Howard got to know Burt very well as they trod the fields together. “Burt liked what we were doing.” Working first with Burt, and then with Bob Cabral, Allen once said that “the tradition continues at Williams Selyem—great fruit from the best growers, cared for in every phase. They’re keeping the same philosophy, and I couldn’t ask for better people to work with.”
|Clones:||Pommard, Dijon 115, Wente||Clones 76 & 15|
|Rootstock:||AXR 1 & 101-14||039-16|
|Number of acres:||4.7||3.7|
|Positioning:||East to West||North to South|
|Topography:||Sloping benchland and flat|
|Elevation:||100 – 110 feet|
|Soil Types:||Arbuckle gravelly loam & Yolo sandy loam overflow|