When you visit Field Stone Winery in Alexander Valley, be prepared to enjoy a very special, historical site. This vineyard was originally planted in 1894; and by 1977, Field Stone Winery became stewards of this treasured Sonoma County property.
Years ago, the Reverend Dr. John Staten was practicing as an ordained minister. His wife Katrina Staten was the daughter of vintner Wallace Johnson of Field Stone. When Wallace passed away, John’s career became dual, as Katrina and John inherited Field Stone Winery.
Three generations of this family have now owned and operated Field Stone. Today, John and Katrina Staten and their family continue what Katrina’s father began. With John Staten being one of the few theologian vintners in the wine business, the most special of all ceremonies at Field Stone is their annual Blessing of Harvest, over which John presides.
Literally nestled into the side of a slight hillside, and surrounded by gnarly old oak trees, sits rustic Field Stone. Just outside the town of Healdsburg, when stepping into Field Stone’s world, you’ve entered a quiet, wine retreat. The solitude, vistas, and sprawling landscape of Alexander Valley are always welcoming and relaxing. Be sure to bring a picnic lunch with you, so that you can take full advantage of their picnic area amid the vines and oaks.
If you spy a tipi in the process, don’t be surprised. John calls it Staten Summer Camp for his grandchildren. The tipi was built by Nomadics Tipi Makers, the company famous for building the teepees in film “Dances With Wolves.” They have built over 22,000 teepees, with the Staten family’s being one of them.
The Statens are involved in every aspect of the winery; from growing their own grapes, to managing their vineyards, to harvesting and producing small lot, world class wines… all from their 50 acre estate. A portion of their original vineyard planted has Petite Sirah in it, with 100 year old vines. Today, this is a rarity to find, as most of today’s vineyards aren’t field blends; but, rather, are blocks of specific varieties. Field Stone’s field blend, head pruned vines are of significant interest to anyone who loves stepping back in time to see how “it was done” when the old timers planted their vines.
Field Stone’s wines include Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Sangiovese, Rose of Petite Sirah, Petite Sirah, and a Port.
As Heidi Dickerson wrote in the 50 Best Northern California Wineries, “With its stone wall and small subterranean cellar surrounded by a forest of valley oaks, Field Stone appeals to romantics who dream of what their personal winery should look like.”
The family has produced a wonderful video, where John and his son Ben Staten talk about their family business. It’s a good story!
This story was originally written for Custom Tour Concierge.