Larry and Shirlee Londer, owners of Londer Vineyards in Anderson Valley, are pleased to announce Eric Stern as their new consulting winemaker. “We are very fortunate to hire Eric Stern,” said Larry Londer. “He was looking for a new project after retiring from a 22-year winemaking career at Landmark Vineyards.” Stern is equally excited about working with a small house, specializing in his favorite varietal—Pinot Noir. “I look forward to the opportunity of working with an appellation and vineyards that are new to me,” he said. “My goal is to keep the quality level exceptionally high and to continue making the same style of limited quantities of Londer Vineyards Anderson Valley wines.”
Career in Wine After Music:
Stern was born and raised in New York City in a family that appreciated French and Italian wines. He studied music at Boston University and the Juilliard School of Music. He left music to earn a degree from New York University’s Washington Square College. After many years managing a chamber ensemble, he decided to pursue his love of wine, earning a second undergraduate major in enology at Cal State Fresno. “Both classical music and wine have an aesthetic quality that is mostly about balance and appreciating subtleties,” remarked Stern.
His first crush was at Acacia in Napa Valley under Larry Brooks, and then he worked at Carmenet in Sonoma. In 1989, he began his long tenure at Landmark Vineyards in Windsor, California. A Chardonnay-only winery at the time, Stern was promoted to winemaker in 1993 and expanded production to include Pinot Noir. He gained a national reputation for crafting world-class Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. “I consider myself like a medical practitioner,” said Stern. “I follow the Hippocratic oath, ‘first, do no harm,’ in treating a wine.”
Taking Londer Vineyards into the Future:
“Eric will be working closely with our General Manager Joe Webb, who is also in charge of overseeing the vineyard management and winemaking,” said Londer.
“Although Shirlee and I are still actively involved in the business, we are no longer managing the day-to-day activities.”
After more than a decade of planting and farming their estate Pinot Noir vineyard near Philo, the Londers had the opportunity to sell the property to their neighbor in 2011. They continue to own the Londer Vineyards brand, source the fruit from the new owners and make a Londer Estate Pinot Noir, along with their other vineyard-designated wines. “It felt like the right time,” said Londer. “We started as a virtual winery, and we will continue with our original vision of making a limited quantity of high-end Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer wines from Anderson Valley.”
The Londers have relocated to their native Colorado to be near their family. “We are having it both ways, living near our family and still running the winery with the help of the Internet and our GM Joe Webb,” Londer explained.
Londer Vineyards Tasting Room in Boonville, Mendocino County:
The Londer Vineyards tasting room is located in the quaint town of Boonville, California. It is centrally situated in the John Hanes Fine Art Gallery among a collection of original paintings and sculptures. The intimate tasting experience features five different small lot Pinot Noir wines, a vineyard designated Chardonnay and a dry Alsatian-style Gewurztraminer, all from select vineyards in Anderson Valley. The wines are available for sale at the tasting room or online at http://www.londervineyards.com.