Grower Spotlight: Schlies Family

In 2006, Chris and Christine Schlies acquired nearly 30 acres of vineyard (now called the Sandy Bend Vineyard) in Upper Lake, Calif. They have made a commitment to sustainable winegrape growing.

schlies-vineyard-tour1

Chris Schlies is a California native, a graduate of UC Santa Cruz and the UC Davis School of Law. He has been married to his wife Christine for 26 years. They have two sons, Joe (23) and Dominic (21). He maintains an active law practice in Pleasanton, where he has been practicing since 1980. In 2003, after his father’s death, Chris began to greatly increase the time he devoted to the family’s farm interests. Although the farm properties are professionally managed, Chris is actively involved in farming decisions and enjoys his frequent visits to the properties. Chris currently serves on the board of the Tri-Valley Conservancy, a non-profit agricultural preservation organization in Livermore, California. Christine is also active in the management of the family businesses, assisting Chris wherever needed and managing the financial operations.

The Schlies family has been farming in California since the 1960s, when Chris’s dad, a pediatrician bought a prune orchard in Napa (sold in 1969 or 1970, now the site of Corley Winery) and a 65-acre orange ranch in Orosi. Since then, the family has invested in almonds in Merced County, purchasing a 100-acre parcel in Planada and a 62-acre parcel in Livingston. The vineyard purchase in 2006 was the family’s first venture in winegrape growing, and they spent 6-8 years developing their knowledge.

schlies-vineyard-tour2

The Sandy Bend Vineyard is located along Middle Creek in Upper Lake. It was previously a walnut orchard. Today it includes 4-1/2 acres of Muscat, about 1/2 – 2/3 acres of Sauvignon Musque, and a little more than 24 acres of Sauvignon Blanc.

Chris’ family has been vacationing in Lake County since he was young. Lake County is an excellent location for winegrape growing, which prompted Chris’ search for a quality Sauvignon Blanc vineyard, a variety that does particularly well in Lake County. Chris believes the “smart money” is in Lake County because the region is desirable for quality winegrape growing and the land values prove that it is somewhat of a well-kept secret.

The Schlies family feels that their farming practices have always been largely consistent with the principles of the sustainable farming initiative. By putting themselves through the certification process, they are supporting the movement by making theior commitment public to their winery customers as well as to the general the farming community. They are learning how the CSWC defines “sustainability” and they hope to participate in the process, as well as continue to fine-tune their practices.

Learn more about the Schlies’ Sandy Bend Vineyard.

schlies-vineyard-tour3

Calendar of Events

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
Sheep & Grapes 8:30 am
Sheep & Grapes @ Napa Valley College, Student Activity Center
Apr 2 @ 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
A workshop about the production, soil health, and climate benefits of integrating sheep into the vineyard. Hear from Wine Country farmers, as well as university and extension specialists. Learn about the benefits of sheep grazing[...]
LCWC Finance Committee Meeting 2:00 pm
LCWC Finance Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office
Apr 2 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Agenda – LCWC Finance Committee, April 2, 2019
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
LCWC Marketing Committee Meeting 1:00 pm
LCWC Marketing Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office
Apr 9 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Agenda – LCWC Marketing Committee, April 9, 2019
10
11
LCWC Research & Education Committee Meeting 9:00 am
LCWC Research & Education Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office
Apr 11 @ 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Agenda – LCWC Research and Education Committee, April 11, 2019
12
LCWC Community/Industry Relations Committee Meeting 2:00 pm
LCWC Community/Industry Relations Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office
Apr 12 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Agenda – LCWC Community-Industry Relations Committee, April 12, 2019
13
14
15
16
LCWC Budget Working Group 2:00 pm
LCWC Budget Working Group @ LCWC Office
Apr 16 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Agenda – LCWC Budget Working Group, April 16, 2019
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
LCWC Finance Committee Meeting 3:00 pm
LCWC Finance Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office
Apr 25 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Agenda – LCWC Finance Committee, April 25, 2019
26
27
28
29
30