Eric Flanagan came to work in the wine business through his travels amongst the world’s wine regions. He became fascinated with how the same grapes give vastly different expression depending upon where they are grown. In the late 90’s, Eric settled on Sonoma County as home to his vision and purchased 40 acres on the side of Bennett Mountain. He founded Flanagan in 2005 and expanded in 2011 with the purchase of a site in Russian River Valley. Today Flanagan produces notable wines from some of the top vineyards in Sonoma County:
- Platt Vineyard is a coastal vineyard and from the top of the property the small town of Bodega and the Pacific Ocean can be seen. The property totals 300 acres of hillside covered by redwood and firs and along the ridgeline is 31 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The soil is Goldridge fine sandy loam and sits high above the regular morning fog.
- Bacigalupi Vineyard is a few miles south of the Flanagan winery on West Dry Creek Road. The Bacigalupi family owns about 120 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir here. Flanagan sourced fruit for their 2015 Bacigalupi Vineyard Chardonnay here from one of their top blocks.
- Ritchie Vineyard was planted in the early 70s with a Wente clone of Chardonnay on AXR-1 rootstock. Owner Kent Ritchie was told he would have to replant the vineyard because AXR-1 was not phylloxera resistant but some forty years later the Ritchie Vineyard is still producing world class fruit.
- Sonoma Stage Vineyard is owned by Dick Hyde. It’s positioning on the southside of Highway 116 between Sonoma and Napa provides cool winds from both the Petaluma Gap and San Pablo Bay.
- Sunchase Vineyard sits atop a rocky hillside on the side of Sonoma Mountain, above the Petaluma Gap. The vineyard has excellent drainage and good airflow.
Flanagan sources their Syrah from their original vineyard in Sonoma Bennet Valley. The site sits at 1200 feet on the south and southwest slopes of Bennett Ridge at the confluence of San Pablo Bay and Petaluma Gap. The vines were planted in 2001 and 2002 with 6 x 4 spacing on rocky, volcanic cobbles with superb drainage. The double maritime influence and warm micro climate in a cool region gives early bud break and late harvesting.
Flanagan has an annual production of 4,300 cases, all produced sustainably. They are in the process of having their vineyards certified sustainable by CSWA (California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance). Winemaker Cabell Coursey joined Flanagan vineyards in 2014. Cabell uses his senses along with his knowledge in biology, chemistry and farming ‘to deliver each vineyard’s best expression each vintage and to make a wine where the last glass is better than the first”.