We make the wines we love, to be shared with those you hold most dear.
Born in Tennessee and raised in Georgia, Larry has spent the better part of his life on a farm. This being the south, they were primarily tobacco and dairy farms; nevertheless, his respect for the land and its cultivation began at a young age. As an adult, Larry channeled this passion for preservation towards people, studying medicine and working as an emergency room physician. After moving to California in the mid-seventies, Larry came home from the ER one night to discover someone camped on his property. After first driving his motorcycle through the tent (this was, after all, the 1970’s in the “wild wild west”) he met its occupant, John Williams, the soon-to-be winemaker at Spring Mountain. After sharing a glass of wine, they became friends; a few bottles later, they became business partners. Frog’s Leap Winery was begat in 1981, with Larry on a tractor by day and suturing by night.
The winery enjoyed quick success; however, much like Athena originated as an ache in Zeus’ head, the impetus for a smaller, more focused project began to take shape in Larry’s mind. He’d taken a shining to the wines made from Zinfandel & Petite Syrah, growing particularly fond of those made from old vine vineyards. Eventually he sold his half of Frog’s Leap to John and started Turley Wine Cellars in 1993.
Because Larry has never met an old vine vineyard he didn’t like, Turley now makes 28 separate wines from 35 different vineyards, some with vines that date back to the late 1800’s. Often weak and decaying, these old vine vineyards require extra care and attention in order to restore them to their former glory. After twenty-five years in the emergency room, Larry can now focus his resuscitative skills on the various old vineyards that comprise the wines he loves.
Many vineyards, two tasting rooms, one family.
Amador County Tasting Room
10851 Shenandoah Road,
Plymouth, CA 95669
Paso Robles Tasting Room
2900 Vineyard Drive,
Templeton, CA 93465
LESLIE SISNEROS – WINEMAKER, MURDER RIDGE WINERY
Leslie chose a traditional educational path by attending UC San Diego, then transferring to UC Davis and graduating with Plant Science, Viticulture degree. After partaking in a thirteen month global agricultural work program she continued her pursuit of a fulfilled life by getting married, starting a family and working at various large wineries including Chateau St. Jean and Rodney Strong. She eventually stumbled onto a family operation known as Kendall Jackson where she welcomed the challenge of this dynamic, growing, business and worked her way up from lab tech to Pinot Noir Princess during her thirteen harvests. After spending most of her 20 year career working for large wineries, she was ready for the new role as a winemaking consultant. Since 2005, she has helped to establish several premium wine brands ranging from the vast Sonoma Coast to Russian River Valley to Mendocino County.
SO HOW DID THESE TWO INDIVIDUALS MEANDERING ON SEEMINGLY DIFFERENT PATHS FINALLY MEET?
It was an uncomfortable muggy late night at Vinwood Cellars in Geyserville, at the close of an extremely long harvest in 2001. When the air conditioner routinely shut down at 10pm everyone seemed to morph into their hostile harvest alter egos. The unending wait for that last, very last, truckload of merlot from Perli Vineyard was causing Leslie, nicknamed Snappy, more angst as the minutes turned into hours. What could have been an ugly encounter between a prickly winemaker and a happy-go-lucky grower turned out to be a start of a long-lasting friendship. Despite the circumstances, the grapes were the best looking fruit of the 16,000 tons processed that year. They also produced one of the best lots of wines. Throughout the years Steve has sold grapes to premium wineries such as Drew Family, Donkey and Goat , Edmeades and Donelan to name a few. Leslie has made wine from Perli Vineyards since 2007 for various clients including Arista and Oakwild Ranch. With two minds always on but slightly off, it was a no brainer for Steve and Leslie to join forces and unleash the force de noir behind the coastal wilderness of Murder Ridge.