Arturo and Deborah Keller first fell in love in the early eighties with the site while driving a vintage car through the meandering Sonoma roads and selected the property for its potential as a site for a world-class vineyard. Our founder's focus was to create a winery where the best wine could be made in an artistically majestic environment.
Since taking over the reins in 1998, Ana works to create wines that reflect a sense of place, while in harmony with the family's approach to elegant, age-worthy, and food-friendly wines. In 2013 Ana joined the Petaluma Gap WineGrowers Alliance's board and was instrumental in creating the Petaluma Gap American Viticultural Area (AVA) which was ultimately granted in 2018.
Julien grew up in Germany; he experimented with brewing but discovered the many facets of winemaking were more complex and exciting. After earning a bachelor's degree in Viticulture and Enology in Germany, he traveled the world through intern positions, settling finally in the US.
He describes his winemaking style as the "best of two worlds," with a traditional" hands-off approach" and modern quality control stewardship. Julien's holistic approach to farming and winemaking is aligned with Keller Estate's passion and philosophy.
Javier grew up in the Lake County, later moving to Santa Rosa where he gained his associate degree in Science Viticulture and Agribusiness. He has a strong desire to produce the best quality grapes that reflect his creative expression and dedication to the health of the vineyard. He has 17 years of vineyard management, giving him the tools to design Keller Estate’s next 100 year plan to continue creating quality wines.
Jose grew up in Argentina, where he first discovered his passion for wine. After obtaining a posgraduate degree from the prestiguos French Culinary Institute and a Master Court of Sommelier certification, He worked in the New York and Florida's restaurant and wine business industry for 12 years. Jose became our Director of Hospitality in 2021, and his impact in the tasting room has been notable. He has the right touch to make our visitors welcome and their experience memorable.
We are proud to announce the addition of George Staikos of The Educated Grape, to direct our sales and distributor management efforts. We’ve know George for several years and are thrilled to partner with him to enhance our ability to grow the Keller Estate brand through quality distribution. We proudly welcome his 20 years of industry relationships and experience in leading sales and marketing for top family-owned California producers such as Ramey, Quintessa, Faust, and Jordan Vineyard. George also develops and offers interactive educational programs for wine enthusiasts. We share the same passion and appreciation for the importance of building a brand through communication and synergy with our distributor partners.
The diversity of our wines comes from years of vineyard exploration, a careful understanding of the Petaluma Gap, how our grapes grow in this wine region, and respect for the essence of our fruit.
Our sustainably certified vineyard incorporates practices derived from organics and regenerative farming that we have learned over the years. These practices include bee-keeping, owl and bat boxes, a flock of over 200 sheep that graze and fertilize our land, and careful management of the pond system that ensures our water supply.
Currently we are re-planting 18 acres of our original vineyard, planted in 1989. As we've learned more about our region, we are making changes to ensure our vineyard will produce beautiful grapes for the next 40 years.
La Cruz Vineyard
The ancient seabed of the San Pablo Bay is mineral rich, with clay soils that define this vineyard. Planted to chardonnay, pinot noir, syrah, viognier, and pinot gris, this is the heart of Keller Estate. Typical to this vineyard is a bright acidity and signature spice notes. In 1989, the first Chardonnay vines were planted, and La Cruz Vineyard was born, years ahead of Keller Estate producing wine.
El Coro Vineyard
Sitting at the ridgetop of the Estate, this vineyard's loam soils are even more exposed to the wind than the La Cruz Vineyard. Planted exclusively to Pinot Noir, this jewel offers extraordinarily complex pinot noirs with delicate aromatics and structured tanins.
Defined by its unique wind and fog conditions and their effect on the vines, the Petaluma Gap was designated on December 7, 2017, as an American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Petaluma Gap produces premium grapes that make it one of California’s best areas for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. Just 25 miles north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, it’s also the premier gateway to the Sonoma Coast and northern Marin County wine region. Keller Estate's vineyard is the Petaluma Gap's founding members.
A typical summer day in the Gap begins with a distinctive, crisp coolness and a blanket of morning fog. By late morning the sun chases away the fog and temperatures rise. However, by mid-afternoon, the cooling maritime breezes begin, picking up speed as the afternoon progresses and bringing in fog almost every night. This cooling "wind tunnel" effect distinguishes the Petaluma Gap from our neighboring winegrowing areas. The impact of the wind results in lower yields and grapes that reach physiological ripeness much later and at lower sugar levels while developing intense flavors with ideal levels of acidity.
Wind and fog are the keys to this Northern California AVA, where vineyards are tucked into valleys and scattered on hillsides in perfect harmony with the area’s rural open space and rich agricultural history. A wind gap in the coastal mountain range funnels cooling breezes and fog east from the Pacific Ocean through the city of Petaluma and south to San Pablo Bay.
Those on our mailing list are invited to the Estate as family and will receive future correspondences and vintage offerings.