Nalle Winery Is All About Family!
Andrew Nalle’s farming and vineyard roots in Dry Creek Valley go back well over a century. By the time he was six, Andrew was helping his parents during harvest and in the cellar. After graduating in 2002 from the University of Redlands with a degree in Philosophy, Andrew found himself back in Dry Creek Valley. While looking for employment, he helped out in the winery and found his life’s calling was right here.
Andrew studied Enology and Viticulture at Santa Rosa Junior College and U.C. Davis Extension, honing his skills as a winemaker while continuing his hands-on education at the winery. Today, between running a winery, making wine and helping out with three young children, Andrew is completing a master’s degree in Fermentation Science from the Viticulture and Enology department at California State University, Fresno.
Andrew has visited many other winegrowing regions of the world, including France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Croatia, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, developing an international palate.
He enjoys time with wife April and their children (Lena, Drew and Ruby), cooking, doing Crossfit workouts and consulting with Doug about squirrels and baseball. He is justifiably proud of his fifth-generation presence in Dry Creek Valley injecting a healthy dose of enthusiasm and passion for wine and grapes.
Viticulturalist, Hospitality Ambassador and so much more!
April Nalle is a winegrowing enthusiast with a passion for sustainable agriculture. After working harvests in California, she decided to take her love of farming to another level (and continent) by earning a Masters of Viticulture from the University of Adelaide in Australia. After receiving her degree, she went on to work for a vineyard management company in South Australia.
In 2013, she returned home to work as a grower relations specialist in the Central Valley of California, eventually making her way to Sonoma County where her true dedication to quality grape growing lies. Today, Andrew and April continue to tend the Nalle estate old vine vineyards with love and sustainable practices, with their children, Lena, Drew and Ruby, always by their side.
If you find yourself visiting Nalle Winery, April will most likely be your host as she pours Nalle wines and shares stories of the historic vineyards, the family and the wines.
The Next Generation
Andrew & April’s Children
Lena, Drew and Ruby’s playground is the vineyard and cellar as they tag along with their parents to work. The current plan is by 2042 the kids will be taking over the winery and vineyard. Let’s see how their parents’ wishful thinking turns out.
Founder, Winemaker Emeritus and Zinmaster
Doug’s drive and innovative thinking made Nalle Winery a reality. It helped to marry a woman whose parents owned a historic benchland Zinfandel vineyard and home site in the heart of Dry Creek Valley.
Doug’s idea for the above ground cave [link to Cave page] was the perfect solution to provide Nalle Winery with a winemaking and temperature-controlled storage facility. With the help of his wife and life-partner, Lee Henderlong, Doug was able to produce vintage after vintage of stellar Zinfandel for his eponymous brand.
These days, you might find Doug on the golf course, consulting with Andrew on the upcoming vintages, or visiting with guests in the tasting room. But his favorite pastime is sitting on his deck, drinking Zinfandel and occasionally uttering words of advice to no one in particular.
Consummate Supporter and Wise Mom
Lee’s family roots in Dry Creek Valley go back to the 1890s. Her great-grandfather John Henderlong ran sheep on a ranch now underwater at Lake Sonoma. In 1917, her grandparents Fred and Ruby Henderlong bought the property on which Lee, Doug, Andrew and April live and operate Nalle Winery.
Lee met Doug on a lazy, warm spring Sunday in 1974. They were married that same year and their relationship is now almost 50 years strong. She relishes her time with her sons Andrew and Sam, daughters-in-law April and Stefanie, and her five grandchildren.
Now retired from her winery duties, Lee spends time with her grandchildren, visiting with friends and neighbors, gardening, and traveling with Doug.
Sam and Stefanie Nalle
Bay Area Wine Ambassadors
Sam, like Andrew, grew up helping out in the winery from a very early age, but his passion sent him on a different career path. With a doctorate in Biomedical Sciences, Sam works as a cancer drug discovery and development scientist in South San Francisco.
Sam, his wife Stefanie and their sons Charlie and Henry live south of San Francisco, but make trips to the winery to visit family. They continue to support their family’s winery by spreading the word about Nalle’s delicious wines to friends and colleagues throughout the Bay Area.
Harold (left) and Howard (right) Henderlong
Doug Nalle with Lee’s mom, Pauline
Left to right: Doug Nalle, a Dry Creek Valley neighbor, and Howard Henderlong
Nalle cellar crew in the 1980s
“By far, the best tasting experience my fiancé and I ever had… We plan on going back every time we’re Napa/Sonoma. I have more respect for the Nalle’s for staying true to their vision than I do for most people. Just amazing.”
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