WOOD FAMILY VINEYARDS
Winemaker/Founder: Rhonda Wood. The year was 1991 and the policy at USAirways, Inc. for pregnant pilots was to take a disability leave of absence from the first they knew of their pregnancy. Rhonda took leave in 1991 and with 9 months on her hands she found time to do things she had wanted to do for a while. She proceeded to get her flight instructor rating renewed. She heard an “Old Wives Tale” that… beer is good for the breast milk. When she heard this she figured home brew would be better and started brewing her own.
After a couple years of home brewing, Rhonda wondered why she shouldn’t start making wine. She and Michael enjoyed wine together in the evenings and touring vineyards and wineries together.
They planted 18 grape vines in their backyard in Fremont with the intention of learning how to make wine. Before harvesting their backyard crop they discovered Livermore Valley during the Harvest Festival in 1995. They saw a vineyard property for sale and determined they could purchase this property in the Bay Area while still working/commuting to their day jobs in San Francisco and Sunnyvale.
Michael continues to commute to Sunnyvale and help run the business. Rhonda took a leave of absence from USAirways in 2001, taking up wine making full time and resigned from USAirways in 2006.
Rhonda and Michael have since expanded and moved the winery from their home to a warehouse nearby with a bustling lounge style tasting room. They now have 5 full time employees, including their oldest son, Harrison, and Assistant Winemaker Alec Fraser.
Assistant Winemaker: Alec Fraser, was exposed to the wine industry while working odd jobs at various Livermore wineries in high school. After seeing the diverse and dynamic roles of the winemakers, I knew I needed to pursue a winemaking career. Under the recommendation of Rhonda, I pursued my degree in Enology at Fresno State while simultaneously working as the Assistant Winemaker for the Fresno State Winery. After graduating from Fresno State in 2017, I joined Wood Family Vineyards as the Assistant Winemaker, where I have continued learning and growing with every experience.
The Wood Family take on the LVVC project
"Our LVVC blend was crafted to highlight our estate Merlot. Our blend offers black cherry and earthy aromas balanced by 40% new french oak. The Syrah adds body and mouthfeel while the Bordeaux components lead to a big finish. The blend strikes a balance of being age worthy yet approachable now. Our LVVC blend was crafted to highlight our estate Merlot. Our blend offers black cherry and earthy aromas balanced by 40% new french oak. The Syrah adds body and mouthfeel while the Bordeaux components lead to a big finish. The blend strikes a balance of being age worthy yet approachable now."
Rhonda Wood - Owner/Winemaker
15% Cabernet Sauvignon
5% Cabernet Franc