Burgundian Grand-Cru Style Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Anne Moller-Racke, owner of Blue Farm Wines, believes wine is more of a craft than an art. Named for the 19th-century blue farmhouse at her home in Carneros, California, Blue Farm produces around 1,500 cases of Burgundian grand cru-style Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines each vintage. “I grew up in Germany, where wine was something you didn’t even think about, it was just part of everyday life, and I came here in the early 80s for what I thought would be a beautiful adventure. I got to see California wine country while it was still young, and I’ve seen so much growth.”
In 2001, Anne purchased the farmhouse and planted seven acres of Pinot Noir in Anne Katherina Vineyard, the estate vineyard. At that time, it was more of a farming project for her. She spent years busy with her wine career as President and Winegrower for The Donum Estate when she decided that she wanted to do a solo project: to make wine from her vines. She partnered with her friend Tim Mott in 2013, and that collaboration allowed her to expand the wine offerings and vineyards used in her broadening portfolio. In addition to the Anne Katherina Vineyard on the Carneros property, Blue Farm also sources fruit from vineyards in Sonoma Valley, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, and Fort Ross-Seaview American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), but continuing to focus primarily on Pinot Noir. “I love Pinot Noir because it’s more transparent, like a watercolor, as compared to Bordeaux, which is more like a layered oil painting,” she described. Anne prefers vineyard-driven wine. “We focus on the vineyard instead of being manipulative in the winery so that our wines truly express what the site and vintage offer,” she explained.
Most of Blue Farm’s wines are sold direct to consumers, with a small amount going to select restaurants in the area. This limited production is how Anne prefers it. “Blue Farm is small enough that I can oversee all parts, so the wine has one voice; it still takes a team, and there are many hands involved, but I’m steering.” Her daughter Hannah expressed an interest in training under her tutelage and now shadows Anne at Blue Farm as she soaks up as much knowledge as possible. Her daughter Dorothe is actively acquiring wine industry experience and education that she can bring to Blue Farm Winery someday.
“Working with family is a beautiful thing,” she admitted, “It means that work is more than just working. And that’s what the vines need,” she added, “Love over generations and decades. It is amazing to grow something that gets better with age, that you know you can pass on to your family. That makes what we do more fulfilling, and you can taste it in the wine.”
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Article By: Layne Randolph // Photos Courtesy of Blue Farm Wines