Since planting its first vines in 2001, Flanagan Wines has quickly established a good reputation amongst the county’s viticultural elite. This is a family run concern with an ethos to match; the Flanagan’s have made their home at Healdsburg where their winery offers private, bespoke tasting experiences built around individual preferences / interests. Eric is the proprietor, Cabell Coursey the winemaker (since joining Flanagan in 2014), and eldest daughter Riley runs her own operation, ‘Riley’s Rows’, as a subsidiary of the Flanagan brand but with a singular focus on producing quality wines at affordable prices.
Vineyard location, soil composition and the influence of microclimate are of primary interest to Eric Flanagan and his team. Over the course of his two decades in the industry, he has acquired various sites across the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley AVAs, each providing a unique set of growing conditions and delivering distinctive, terroir driven wines. The original Bennett Valley vineyard remains the source of Flanagan’s Syrah whilst the coastal vineyard at Platt Ranch near the minute municipality of Bodega - bought by Flanagan in 2015 - is touted by the owner (amongst others) as California’s premier site for cultivating the Burgundy varieties, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Given the proprietor’s particular interest in terroir, it is no surprise that designated vineyard varietals are a speciality here. Single site Chardonnay wines are produced from the fruits of Platt, Ritchie Valley and Bacigalupi vineyards, whilst Pinot Noir grapes are cultivated and vinified separately from Sonoma Stage, Gap’s View, Platt and the relatively young but very exciting, Sun Chase vineyard. Flanagan’s also produce red wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, as well as a lively Viognier varietal and a tiny amount of ‘Serenity Way’ - an elegant, well structured Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet and Merlot.
Flanagan Wines has evidently come a long way in a relatively short time. From a single plot in Bennett Valley to multiple respected vineyard sites across Sonoma County, the company has grown concurrently with its reputation. A new winery in 2016, with greater capacity and another vine parcel to develop, as well as the establishment of Riley’s Rows as a sister brand, is evidence that Flanagan Wines remains on an upward curve.