winegrowers, Winemakers, Proprietors
We are Pete and Lorna Opatz, the founders of Route 128 Winery. We tend to our vineyard, handcraft barrels of wine, and sell our vintages in our newly re-designed tasting room and wine bar in downtown Geyserville, the center of California’s Wine Road, Route 128. Recently we partnered with longtime friend, Tom Fuchs, a former Alexander Valley winery owner and a veteran executive in national wine sales and marketing. Together, we decided to locate our National Sales Offices in South Florida, where Tom is based. We have established distribution on the East coast and we are building the brand westward back to our corporate base, here in Northern California.
Pete: A life-long farmer, winemaker, and viticulturalist who has been driving a tractor since age 10. "I live and breathe vines and wines. I’ve spent more than 4 decades working with the terroir of prime vineyards throughout coastal California, Argentina, and other locations internationally. Together with my wife, Lorna, I personally work our family vineyard and handcraft our wines. We carefully selected varietals and clones for this specific mountain location, and make small lots of wine from our exceptional estate grown grapes, on Route 128. I am also involved in the overseeing of the vineyards of the Route 128 District Designate wines. These are nationally distributed wines that provide our customers with the highest quality and value available."
Lorna: “The wine business has been my passion since my first day of work in 1980. I love the seasons, the people, the smells of fermenting wine, working with Pete in the vineyard and in the winery. As the winery’s official administrator, I wear many hats. Not only do I oversee the business end, but I'm seen regularly in our tasting room in the timeless and picturesque wine town of Geyserville, on California’s Wine Road, Route 128.”
The wines are only as good as their origin and skill from which they are created. So why the Yorkville Highlands? From our first visit in 1998 to our property, Pete sensed the incredible potential for winegrowing. Immediately after the purchase of the ranch property, Pete went to work on his tractor and planted Viognier, Zinfandel and Syrah with the addition of Bordeaux varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot) a few years later. For us, the Yorkville Highlands appellation provides the perfect marriage of a coastal mountain climate, thin weathered soils and elevation, creating unique vineyards that rival some of the world's best.
The Opatz Family Vineyard is planted at an elevation of 1,400 feet, in high density plantings of 1,250 vines per acre. The Yorkville Highlands' unique micro-climate with its influence of Alexander Valley's warmth and Anderson Valley's nightly cooling optimizes the grapes' acidity, critical especially for our Viognier. This south facing vineyard features abundant sun, daily afternoon breezes, and thin mountain soils promoting wines of concentration and intense flavor.
In the News
Video: Pete Opatz in
"Seasons Along the Wine Road"
Pete Opatz Presented 2010 Viticulture Award of Excellence
North Bay Business Journal
Most Influential Leaders in the
North Bay: Pete Opatz
Marina Times and JetSet Extra:
Geyserville is Worth a Visit
Set Your Cruise Control on Route 128 Wines
CBS Eye on the Bay:
Daytrip to Geyserville
Wine Myth Busters