5.4 acres Syrah, .6 acres Viognier
Twenty years of farming on Baker Lane has proven that, while we’ve never failed to produce grapes of quality and distinction, each growing season presents a diverse narrative and occasionally very complicated challenges to resolve. Coupling that understanding to the attention to detail provided by Greg Adams (our viticulturist and winemaker since 2007) has meant that the learning curve for understanding the character and potential for our Baker Lane vines has been steep and fascinating. Alas, the lesson in the meaning and consequence of the site that our Estate vineyard has provided has been profound.
Although painting has steadfastly remained Stephen’s passion for 50 years, in 1983, with his daughter Fanny in utero, the idea of a working life in the wine business emerged. Fanny’s Mother, Alice Waters, encouraged him to open a retail store in San Francisco, and Singer & Foy Wines (a bottle shop with a wine tasting schedule of global scope) provided an ample on-the-job business and detailed wine education. Traveling broadly throughout the wine world with his mentor, Kermit Lynch, Alice and others, further instilled a fine appreciation for the subtleties of culture and viticulture that make wines of distinction possible. In serving 15 years as a Board Member and the wine director for Chez Panisse, Stephen was engaged in the ongoing green revolution that it helped spawn. This motivated him to celebrate the indelible connection between the earth and a gracious table through a variety of pursuits. These included wine consulting for many restaurants throughout the Bay Area, helping develop several restaurants of his own (including Table 29 in Napa and César in Berkeley), and Stephen Singer, Olio, an importer and distributor of fine Italian olive oils and vinegars. This entrepreneurial spirit, tethered to a desire to gain an empirical understanding of viticulture and winemaking (and the attractions of the open space of rural life), led to the creation of Baker Lane Vineyards. It has provided Stephen the rare opportunity to transform its 15 acres into a biodynamically farmed Syrah and Viognier vineyard with singular terroir, olive orchard and home. Baker Lane’s mission is to produce regeneratively cultivated , exceptional expressions of cool climate (and most importantly, table friendly) Syrah and Viognier has appropriately drawn on all aspects of Stephen’s skill set.