Shake Ridge Ranch in All Its Glory

Throughout the world of wine, certain vineyards become legendary. Some because they are synonymous (or even eponymous) with legendary producers who often have owned the entire vineyard for generations. Other vineyards, however, achieve their renown in the space of a single lifetime through (and sometimes because of) the many producers who return year after year to make wine from what they believe to be a superior site.

In California, well-known vineyard names such as Bien Nacido, Sangiacomo, Hudson, and Rochioli have all passed from simple name recognition to a place where they are reliable signifiers for quality in the bottle.

A visionary vineyard in the Sierra Foothills has recently joined their ranks, thanks as much to the personality of the woman who planted it as the stellar quality of fruit that now finds its way into some of California’s most interesting boutique wines.

Growing up a grower

Ann Kraemer was born not far from San Diego in Escondido, California. ‘My dad was a farmer, and so was his dad, and his grandfather’, says Kraemer. ‘They all grew citrus in Orange County. I was one of eight siblings and we grew up on an orange grove. The kids’ job was to do irrigation and trap gophers, and I was the only one who really liked it.’

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