In 1979, Hugo Oswald Jr. bought the 6,000 case Husch Winery from the Husch family. The Oswald family had been growing pears in the Santa Clara Valley, but when the area was expanding they sold the land and headed for the southern tip of Mendocino County in the Ukiah valley. The Oswald family combined the vineyards on their La Ribera Ranch in Talmage with their newly expanding vineyards in the Anderson Valley. This union produced a total growing area of about 200 acres. Today Husch Vineyards is still owned and operated by the Oswald family. Currently three members of the family are involved in the winery: Miles, Ken, and Will. Winemaking is under the direction of Fritz Meier, graduate enologist from Geisenheim University in Germany. Al White, now in charge of all viticulture operations, has been with Husch since 1973.
Through the years Husch has modernized and expanded, but it has never lost its initial rustic charm or reputation for great wines. View all Husch Vineyards Wines
About North Coast
Beyond Napa and Sonoma in the north you find a couple of other counties producing great wine. Among these are Mendocino and Lake County. The northernmost California winegrowing regions, these two counties are right above Napa and Sonoma, geographically. Yet, wine-wise they are very different – both from their southern neighbors and from each other.
Notable FactsMendocino has a high amount of organic vintners and vines. The first winery to settle here was Fetzer, which practices organic viticulture and holds some of the most vineyard land in the area. Mendocino has many pockets of micro-climates while Lake County, being smaller in size, is less diverse climactically. As for the grapes, Chardonnay is the most popular in both counties, but there are also some excellent Sauvignon Blancs, particularly in the Lake County. In red wine, Zinfandel leads the way, followed by Rhone Blends and Petite Sirah. The reds in both counties are complex and sumptuous. Anderson Valley is a sub-AVA of Mendicino and is quite well known for its excellent cool climate, producing the delicious Roederer Estate sparkling wines and some wonderful cool-climate Syrah.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.