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Copyright © 2017
by Fred McMillin
The Right Aptitude
The Stanford University aptitude test indicated Bob Poulson should choose a career in agriculture or engineering. Which did he select?
Bob chose engineering. and here I thought we had a wine story. But wait. While he started with Dow Chemical in Michigan, they made the mistake of transfering him to the San Francisco Bay area.
Warning: The Wine Country Can Be Hazardous To Your Career
Sure enough, Bacchus bit Bob. Soon, Bob and wife Mary Lou had purchased a small vineyard at the north end of Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County. Next they were making wine in a converted cafeteria. That was 1978, and their 1978 Cabernet Sauvignon was "rich, delightful for current drinking," according to critic Anthony Dias Blue. Some Aptitude!
Name The Winery
Soon after the Poulsons arrived in California, a winery sprung up in nearby Benicia called Diablo Vista. So, the Poulsons bought it, moved it to Dry Creek, and changed the name to the Lake Sonoma Winery. (They were very close to the large reservoir called Lake Sonoma.)
These were good years. In Wine Regions of America, Prof. John Baxevanis commented on the "rich Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 3 1/2 years in French (Nevers) oak."
Then, in 1995, Bob Polsen died...but the Lake Sonoma Winery,(pictured), didn't. After the grief and turmoil subsided, it was sold. That marked the start of the...
When Bob Poulson was settling in with Dow, Gary Heck was starting with Korbel Champagne Cellars. His father, Adolph Heck, and uncle Paul bought Korbel in 1954. He worked eveything from sales rep to purchasing agent to traffic manager and more. By the time the Lake Sonoma Winery went on the market, Gary was President and CEO. He grabbed it fast, to make super-premium wines. He clearly improved the appearance ; as for the wines, the first Cabernet Sauvignon made in the Heck Era is...
Our Wine of the Day
1996 Lake Sonoma Winery Cabernet Sauvignon
How many entities have the word Sonoma in their name, in addition to today's winery? There are at least eight: an American Indian tribe, a Spanish mission, a mountain, a lake, a creek, a valley, a county and a town.
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This page created September 2000