Wander & Wine: Bucher Wines A Small Family-Owned Russian River Valley Winery
Originally posted July 2018 by Emily Martin
We are beyond thrilled to share a peak at our friend Hana-Lee of Wander & Wine’s recent blog post about Bucher Wines. For the full post visit, Wander & Wine’s website here.
“As you can probably tell from this blog, I am a big fan of summer and all that comes with it. Those long summer days just beg for us all to head outside and make the most of the season. That’s why I love finding time to eat outside in the summer months, whether it’s a summer beach picnic, an al fresco dinner or just a casual summer bbq. Add some wine and a few beers, and you’re set! Recently, a friend introduced me to Bucher Wines, a small boutique family owned winery in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. So, when I received a few of their wines in the mail, I decided to invite a couple friends over for a casual summer bbq to try them.”
“Owned by husband and wife, John and Diane Bucher, Bucher Wines is located in Healdsburg in the Russian River Valley. The vineyard is actually situated on Bucher Farms, an organic dairy farm started by John’s parents in 1958 after they emigrated from Switzerland. Today, Bucher Farms is still a working dairy farm, consisting of 700 milk downs and 700 heifers, calves and bulls.
After graduating from UC Davis in the late 1980s, John returned to Healdsburg to manage the family farm. He started the process of converting it to an organic dairy farm and, wanting to diversify a bit with higher value crops, John started to look into grape growing as a possibility. In 1997, after researching which grape varietals would do best, the first Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir blocks were planted. Additional plantings of Pinot and Chardonnay soon followed.
Bucher’s Pinot Noir grapes have long been sold to several notable Sonoma County wineries, including Williams Selyem, Merry Edwards, Siduri and Arista. But in 2011, the Bucher family decided to try their own hand at winemaking and later that year, John and Diane, along with the help of their children, crushed their first grapes for Bucher Wines. Their first vintage was released two years later.
Bucher Wines’ 38-acre vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on 15 distinct blocks, and the organic sustainable practices used on the farm and dairy continue into the vineyard.”
Bucher Wines produces Russian River Valley Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Rosé of Pinot Noir made from 100% estate fruit. Their winemaker is Adam Lee, a Pinot Noir specialist who has earned a reputation as one of California’s top winemakers.
Yes, Pinot Noir from California can vary dramatically, but Russian River Pinot Noirs tend to showcase notes of cherry and red fruit, smoke and earthy elements. That was certainly true of these wines, like the 2015 Pommard Clone Pinot Noir, which displayed cherry pie and cranberry notes, smoke and a subtle earthiness on the long, velvety finish.
Bucher Wines can be ordered online or sampled at their new tasting room in Windsor, Grand Cru Custom Crush. If you happen to visit, be sure to mention you read about Bucher Wines on Wander & Wine and they’ll treat you to an extra taste of something special.
To read the full Wander & Wine blog post about Bucher Wines, visit Wander & Wine here.