When Don and Rhonda Carano discovered Lazy Creek Vineyards, their first thought was, “What a magical place!” Driving up a narrow dirt road off of Highway 128, across three rough-hewn wooden bridges surrounded by majestic redwoods and rambling bushes, they found a small winery and a 100-year-old farmhouse nestled in a hollow surrounded by rolling hills, vineyards and gardens. Instantly smitten, they purchased the 95-acre ranch, which at the time was planted to roughly 40 acres of grapes including Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, and Chardonnay.
Don and Rhonda are dedicated to the philosophy and tradition of producing European/Alsatian-style wines. “We believe that great wines begin in the vineyard, and we feel honored to carry on the tradition of superbly-crafted, artisan wines established by those before us at Lazy Creek,” says Don.
The future of Lazy Creek Vineyards is bright and exciting, as Don and Rhonda, also owners of Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, have spent years accumulating and cultivating some of the finest vineyard properties in all of California, and Pinot Noir vineyards are no exception.
Graduating in 2001 with an enology degree from California State University Fresno, Christy Ackerman was drawn to winemaking inspired by its hands-on nature and its mixture of chemistry and art. She began her winemaking career as a harvest intern at Murphy Goode for one season, and then moved on to Jordan Winery in 2001 as assistant winemaker. In 2006, Christy joined the winemaking team at Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery as associate winemaker, working on Ferrari-Carano’s Russian River Valley and Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Project. This experience led Christy to Lazy Creek Vineyards, where she has headed up the winemaking team since 2008, shortly after Don and Rhonda Carano, owners of Ferrari-Carano, purchased the property.
Christy loves all of the sensory attributes that winemaking affords, whether it is the look and smell of a vineyard in bloom, a cellar full of fragrant fermenting juice, the foaming, crackling sound of a fermentation, or the satisfaction of seeing someone enjoying a glass of wine that she had a part in crafting.
As LCV’s winemaker, it is Christy’s goal to allow the vineyards to express themselves in the wines. Lazy Creek’s great diversity of clones and unique vineyard site allows for complex, concentrated wines for a truly terroir driven experience.
Christy lives in Windsor and is married to Terry Ackerman. She likes animals, conversations with older people, cooking, campfires, acoustic guitar, spaghetti westerns and road trips, but is not so fond of crowds, schedules, reality television, and shopping.