It all started with a redhead. A redheaded golden retriever named Tess, to be exact. From the moment we stepped foot on this Sonoma property, Tess was its official guardian and mascot. During the early years of building, planting and harvesting, she stood watch. And so, when it came time to name this special vineyard, we chose to honor her. Tess Trueheart, Dick Tracy’s redheaded love interest, seemed the perfect choice. Independent yet loyal, hard-working yet loving.
Trueheart Vineyard is now our labor of love. What started as a flat, open, tree-less plot of land near downtown Sonoma is now a small but thriving vineyard and “gentleman’s farm.” We live here and work here and grow here. In 2004 we planted two-year-old Petite Sirah vines and decided to use the Old-World practice of head-pruning, avoiding trellises and wires. We sold our first two harvests in 2006 and 2007, but once we realized what outstanding fruit we had, we never looked back. Our first vintage was produced in 2008, a mere 50 cases. Needless to say we sold out quickly.
Our Midwestern roots, love for the outdoors and passion for great food and wine have come in handy. We are learning to farm as we go, but we both came to this adventure with a love for the land, a commitment to treat it with respect, and an appreciation for how lucky we are to be here. This philosophy, along with Sonoma’s Mediterranean climate and our intensely fertile soil, guide all that we do.
In addition to the grapes, we grow figs, persimmons, pears, apples, Meyer lemons, pomegranates, rosemary, lavender, and Escalante olives. Plus, there’s a small flock of free-range bantam chickens and three boxes of honeybees to keep everything in blossom. Our new dog, Mia, has taken over for Tess. And while she’s not a redhead, she has just as much heart.
—Patrick Smith & Ligeia Polidora, Proprietors