It's tough making a name for yourself in the shadow of a famous father. It's tougher if you choose the same profession, in the same county. But that's what Morgan Twain-Petersonthe son of Sonoma Ravenswood Winery founder and winemaker Joel Petersonis doing with his Bedrock Wine Co.
Twain-Peterson's passion is to seek out California's heirloom vineyards: sites planted in the late 1800s or early 1900s, usually with a crazy grab bag of Mediterranean grape varieties. These ultra-low-yielding vineyards produce spicy, exotic reds, but in tough economic times, they're often the first to be ripped out in favor of higher-producing vines. Taste the potent, blackberry-rich 2008 Bedrock Wine Co. The Bedrock Heirloom ($35) from vines planted more than 100 years ago, and you'll wonder what farmer in his right mind could countenance destroying this kind of heritage.
Recently, with some other winemakers, Twain-Peterson cofounded the new Historic Vineyard Society. "These vineyards are California's treasures. There's a poetic element to them, in that they reflect the melting pot culture of the US," he says. "But they'd be nowhere if they also didn't make very, very good juice."