While we lack pretension, we are very serious about our craft.
As a business and as people we avoid dogma, we are open to new perspectives and opinions, and we always look for the opportunity in the obstacle. We exude positive energy and we are always appreciative. While we lack pretension, we are very serious about our craft. Our wines are world class, our people are world class, and our hospitality is world class.
Jake Bilbro, Owner
Jake Bilbro is a fourth-generation Sonoma County winemaker and grape grower. Native to Sonoma County and Healdsburg in particular, Jake grew up checking vineyards throughout the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys with his dad while drinking cream soda and playing hide and go seek tag with his brothers in his dad’s winery: Marietta Cellars. Jake’s passion for the wine lifestyle began at a very young age when his chores were cleaning barrels, dragging hoses, and in most ways being his dad’s shadow. Living amongst the vines and wines of Sonoma County ignited a relationship and bond with vineyards, wine, dirt, food and the seasonally minded community of people who make their livelihood here that is inherently part of the Bilbro DNA.
Before gravitational pull brought him back to Sonoma County, Jake attended college at UCSB and then travelled both the US as well as Fiji and New Zealand. He returned to to Sonoma County for his true education – to help run Marietta Cellars with his Dad for 16 years. Fate, luck, and happenstance brought him to Limerick Lane (the road) and eventually to owning the century old Limerick Lane Estate where he now produces some of the most acclaimed wines in the Russian River Valley.
Today, Jake and his wife Alexis own Limerick Lane Cellars and Limerick Lane Vineyards and Jake produces estate grown wines that reflect the personality, history, and heartbeat that is ever apparent at Limerick Lane. While under Jake’s stewardship, Limerick Lane has received significant acclaim and recognition. Yet, Jake’s greatest accomplishment is introducing his children to the wonders of cream soda while walking the century old vines on the estate and still finding the best spots to hide during family hide and go seek tag in the winery.
Jake Bilbro can be contacted at email@example.com.
Chris Pittenger, Winemaker
Chris’ passion for winemaking was born during his college years at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo where a viticulture course set him on his path. His first job out of college was at the prestigious Wally’s wine shop in L.A, where he was exposed to the best wines of the World and gravitated towards Burgundy, the Rhone, and Piedmont. From there he moved to Jackson Hole to refine his palate (and snowboarding skills) in The Tetons while working as a sommelier in the wine-centric Restaurant Terroir.
Chris always wanted to make wine and jumped at an opportunity to intern at Robert Biale in Napa, working with old vine Zinfandel vineyards. This was followed by vintages at Torbreck (Australia), Williams-Selyem (Healdsburg), and finally, four harvests at West Sonoma Coast winery Marcassin (under Helen Turley).
Chris then spent 11 years as winemaker at Rhone focused Skinner Vineyards in El Dorado, where he championed Mourvédre and Grenache in the regions’ granitic soils and high elevation vineyards.
When Chris returned to Healdsburg to work at Limerick Lane, he felt an immediate connection to this historic vineyard. His goal for this iconic site is to showcase its beauty, grace, structure, and precision through the Limerick Lane wines. To this end he draws from an old world palate developed over two decades, combined with a gentle touch learned while working under some of the world’s most respected winemakers.
Chris Pittenger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jake Neustadt, Consulting Viticulturist
Jake Neustadt earned his B.S. in Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis in 2014 with a desire to farm grapes. In 2015, he worked on a field crew growing Pinot noir in Central Otago (New Zealand) before joining Ridge Vineyards to work with California’s historic vineyards. He is now a California State Certified Pest Control Adviser and the in-house viticulturist for Bedrock Wine Co, a fellow member of the Historic Vineyard Society. Taking inspiration from the remarkable sustainability of the ancient vines, Jake farms Limerick Lane with minimal irrigation (often dry-farming) and establishes many new blocks using the same, Gobelet-style pruning system. Along with these lessons, Jake also incorporates modern agroecological practices such permanent cover crops and polyculture to ensure that the vineyard can foster a healthy biosphere both above and below the ground.
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