Grower Spotlight: Dane Petersen of Fall Creek Vineyard
Dane Petersen (L) and his son Brad Petersen – Photo courtesy of George Rose
Dane Petersen, owner of Fall Creek Vineyard, sits on the tailgate of his pickup truck, looking out at his field of mustard. “It’s solid yellow,” he says. “In Autumn, we try to coat the ground with a cover crop to prevent erosion. I quit buying commercial seed two years ago, because the wild mustard does a better job of it! The bees just love it.”
Fall Creek Vineyard, located at the northernmost end of West Dry Creek Road, sits on a long, narrow piece of land that borders both Dry Creek and its namesake, Fall Creek. Just half a mile from Lake Sonoma, “It’s just a hair warmer than the rest of Dry Creek Valley, so frost is not really an issue,” says Dane. Of the 37 acres of land; 30 acres are planted with zinfandel, 5 acres are merlot, and 2 acres are cabernet sauvignon. The oldest vines in the vineyard are about 50 years old, and were planted by Dane’s father, Hereward Petersen. The soil in the vineyard is red and rocky alluvial soil that has come down from the hills above over millenia. Seghesio Vineyards purchases Fall Creek Vineyard’s oldest vines.