Our Mendocino History: 100 years and counting
Named for the creek that meanders through it, Lazy Creek Vineyards is located in the heart of bucolic Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. Known as the second oldest vineyard in the valley, our Mendocino history dates back to the early 1900s when Lazy Creek was established by the Pinolis’, an Italian family who began their American odyssey by farming plum orchards and vineyards. The Pinolis sold the property to Hans and Theresia Kobler in 1969. Natives of Switzerland, Hans and Theresa converted the old barn to a winery. Hans planted Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay vines that he brought by suitcase from Europe. He was particularly proud to have had the foresight to plant Pinot Noir, even after Robert Mondavi advised against it. Hans was committed to making a good bottle of wine for a decent price, and his Burgundian-style Pinot Noir and Alsatian-style Gewürztraminer were honored with multiple international awards.
Hans operated Lazy Creek Vineyards successfully for 26 years before selling the 95-acre ranch to Josh and Mary Beth Chandler in 1998. As luck (and the wine gods) would have it, the Chandlers found Lazy Creek by accident while on their way to make an offer on another property. At the time the Chandlers purchased Lazy Creek, there were 19 acres of planted vineyards.
In the summer of 2008, Don and Rhonda Carano discovered Lazy Creek and immediately fell for its considerable charms, as it recalled their first foray as grape growers on a small Alexander Valley ranch they purchased in 1979. Don and Rhonda also grew a few acres of Gewürztraminer that they sold to Grand Cru winery. Owning and operating Lazy Creek Vineyards since 2008 has truly been a personal labor of love for them, an inspiring daily reminder of why they remain in the wine business today. It’s about the beauty and respect for the land; as Mark Twain said, “buy land, they are not making it anymore.”