Tolenas Winery - Lisa Howard


Manage episode 324171608 series 2983523
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Tolenas Winery is a family-owned and operated vineyard and winery committed to producing high quality wines that speak to the terrior of Suisun Valley, California. Founded by Lisa and Cliff Howard in 2015, Tolenas Winery is the next chapter of a family legacy that can be traced back to over 40 years ago.
Lisa’s family has lived in Suisun Valley since 1982. After moving to the area, her parents, ​Steve and Linda Tenbrink​, began farming and eventually started their own winery, Tenbrink Winery and Vineyards. Those early years on her parents’ farm were foundational in shaping the winemaking philosophy Lisa and Cliff would later adopt.
In 2010, 55 acres of prunes, wine grapes, and almonds went up for sale in Suisun Valley. Though Lisa and Cliff were living in Arizona at the time, they both jumped at the opportunity to leave a good life for a great life and move back to Lisa’s hometown to embark on their wine industry journey. With the help and guidance of Lisa’s family, the couple became self-taught winemakers ready to launch their own winery.
Since those early days, Lisa and Cliff have transitioned all 55 acres of their property to growing wine grapes and have expanded from producing 96 cases a year to more than 1,000 cases. Today, Lisa and Cliff are proud second-generation winemakers on a mission to produce wines as naturally as possible while maintaining the quality and regionality. They are committed to protecting the land and preserving the integrity of their wines. This includes taking a more hands-on approach and abstaining from disturbing the vines with chemicals or unnecessary additives.
The name for the winery’s label was born after Lisa found an old deed that listed the 55-acre property as Lot #38 of Rancho Tolenas, the Mexican land grant that spanned Solano and Napa Counties in the 1800s. The name is an homage to the pioneer spirit and history of the Suisun Valley. It also speaks to Lisa and Cliff’s goals of continuing to grow Tolenas Winery into a California wine industry pioneer.
Over the course of the last five years, Tolenas Winery has focused on perfecting the quality of its exclusive family of wines. This list includes premium wines like a Suisun Valley Red Blend, Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, and the Eclipse,​ a white pinot noir that won a gold medal at the International Women’s Wine Competition.​ In the future, the company hopes to add a sparkling wine to this list and a tasting room to the property as well.

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