Jim and Leslie Ward became interested in winegrowing through a friend who owned a winery, but they were also challenged with the maintenance of a 3-acre hillside where grass and weeds presented a fire hazard in the dry summer months. To solve the problem and fuel their interest in wine, they planted 1,500 Pinot Noir vines in 1999 and had their first wine produced in 2002.
They chose Pinot Noir grapes because they feel Lafayette’s climate with its cool evenings and hot, but not sweltering, days provides a good environment for this variety. Every September, family members descend on the vineyard to help workers with the harvest. The grapes are handpicked and transported to Owl Ridge in Sebastopol the same day where they are crushed, pressed, and later, fermented and clarified by Winemaker Alison Schneider prior to the 18+ months of aging in a combination of both French and U.S. oak barrels. Jim and Leslie and several other early Lamorinda wine growers founded the Lamorinda Winegrowers Association in 2005.
The name Los Arabis comes from the Arabian Horses that ran the hillside for years prior to the vines being planted in 1999. Special thanks to Sabine Stuewer of Tierfoto for the beautiful label photograph of the three Arabian horses. You can see more of her work by clicking here.
If you are interested in drinking great wine at a great vacation destination, please see our rental property website: Wailea Beach Villas - Maui, Hawaii