Interview with owner and winemaker Alex Davis
I had the pleasure to drive out to my favorite West Side Road in Russian River Valley. It was a beautiful winter day in Sonoma County. The sun was shining and the crisp air was a wonderful welcome after the hot summer. The light and the colors in the vineyard were at their peak performance and radiating a fruitful season coming to its end.
This is where I met Alex and had an admirable conversation about wine, farming and yoga.
Where were you born and raised?
“My parents retuned to my mom’s native small town in southern Idaho for my birth (a home birth in a rock cabin built by my grandfather!) and then returned to our temporary home on Maui for couple of years before returning to my father’s native bay area. We settled on a smaller property in Forestville in mid 1970’s before we purchased the Porter Creek Estate in 1978.”
How did you become a wine maker?
“A casual observer could easily conclude that I was just handed the position by my family. But I feel that my tenacity has been the driving force. In the era where I grew up, the wine business was a difficult one, especially for a winery based on the “not yet proven Pinot Noir”. To run this property in the way do, I have had to acquire diverse skills that range from college education in both California and France, learning French to apprentice with some of the greatest winegrowers in France, operating farm machinery on very steep terrain, welding custom equipment and developing of my own sense how and why wines should taste the way they do.”
What fuels your passion/inspiration to make wine?
“All of my life force.”
Can you describe your connection to the earth?
“Everything I do is based on clues that the earth gives me.”
What makes bio dynamic farming wines so special?
“I see biodynamic farming as a quest to at least partially return grapevines to their native habitat of growing from the forest floor and climbing trees. For example, composting vineyard soil resembles the decaying leaves that feed the forest soil much more than chemical fertilizers.”
What does it mean to be spiritual for you?
“For the most part I don’t really look beyond the clues that the earth gives me. I don’t doubt that there is more to it, but that is what works for me.”
How has wine changed your life?
“Wine brought me across the world and back with more purpose, respect and understanding than I ever could have imagined.”
What is your opinion on yoga?
“I believe that yoga connects people’s mind to their body. In the modern urban lifestyle, people are losing this basic connection.”
What brings you joy and makes you smile?
“Seeing people enjoying the good moments in life, good health, and the farmer in me enjoys seeing a job well done.”
My experience at Porter Creek was warm and genuine plus their wines are a true art form. On your next adventure stop by their special farm and say hello to Alex from me.