Tony Crabb and Barbara Grasseschi were ready for a change when they purchased a somewhat neglected vineyard just north of Healdsburg, California in 2000.
Tony, an English born and educated engineer, enjoyed a productive career that took him from England to South Africa to Scotland and finally to California’s Silicon Valley. After starting his own companies and working for other major corporations, the life of a vineyard owner grew more appealing. Meanwhile, his wife Barbara, a sales and marketing executive, was growing weary of airports, rental cars and hotels. Working in a vineyard, raising goats and letting the weather dictate her schedule rather than the airlines held more interest for Barbara every day.
Rick Kaye is our Farm Manager. He eagerly embraces ranch and farm life duties and our philosophy. Rick brings a decade of prior farming experience to Puma Springs, including agroforestry work for the US Peace Corps, integrated pest management fieldwork for the UC Cooperative Extension, and hands-on landscaping/farm management for non-profit organizations.
Today, because of the tireless dedication of our talented team, Puma Springs is a living, thriving, constantly evolving piece of earth that produces some of the finest grapes in Sonoma County. Biodynamics is not only good for the earth and good for the environment; it helps produce exceptional wine grapes.
Promoting biodiversity is as important to us as producing premium quality grapes. When we give to the land, the land gives back to us. We provide nesting sites to attract raptors that reduce the number of gophers and other pests that can damage the vines. Strategically placed bird houses throughout the vineyard attract swallows and other birds that dine on insects harmful to the vines. A permanent cover crop between the rows prevents soil erosion, controls vine vigor, discourages unwanted weeds and provides a habitat for beneficial insects. A small herd of goats live in the area around the pond, munching in the non-vineyard areas, providing weed control for us – and entertainment for the neighbors.
A variety of trees, shrubs and other vegetation provides habitat for a wide range of beneficial birds and insects. Our central Insectary attracts beneficial insects to the vineyard, reducing and possibly eliminating the need for insecticides.
Puma Springs’ Wind and Solar Photo Voltaic systems, along with our passive solar thermal water heating system minimize the need for non-renewable energy. The Wind and Solar PV array provides power to the irrigation pumps for the vineyard and administrative office, while the passive solar thermal water heating system provides all hot water for the office.
Midway between the Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys the vineyard is ideally located on gently sloping hillsides that take advantage of the local microclimate. This spot is ideally suited to growing Bordeaux wine grapes. During the growing season the vineyard sees typically hot days and a cooling evening breeze that burns the fog away each morning earlier than the surrounding valleys. The soil is sandy clay loam.
We have enjoyed rewarding collaborations with some of Sonoma County’s finest wineries, including Benziger and Envolve (through 2012), contributing to some of their best reviewed vintages.
Our current harvests have been purchased by Hobo Wines and Dry Creek Vineyards, although the wine is still being aged, so we are all waiting patiently to see – and taste – the delicious results.
Puma Springs Vineyards wines available from
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