Our Philosophy on Winemaking

Photo of owners Peter and Betsy Spann

Our experience with the wines of great producers around the world over the past 40 years has been invaluable. We take the best ideas and techniques we've learned from European and California winemakers and apply them to our wines.

We strive to create food-friendly, unique wines that are memorable and blend seamlessly into the occasion. Memorable in their purity, authenticity, distinctiveness, and enjoyment, seamless in how they integrate into the setting, whether it be with friends on the patio or accompanying a formal dinner. Whatever the time or place, Spann Vineyards will linger pleasurably on your palate and in your memory.

Betsy Spann - Winemaker/Winegrower

Photo of winemaker Betsy Spann

My love of wine was fostered by a move to Bordeaux with my family in 1975 where I explored the wines and cheeses of southwestern France.  After returning to California to attend college I went to work in a small wine shop where my interest grew, then I opened my own store in El Dorado County where we featured local wines.  I sold the store to become an independent wine broker representing small high quality producers and then moved to Dry Creek Valley where I helped with the startup of Lake Sonoma Winery, working both in the vineyards and in wine production.  My continued interest in European wines led me to Dallas, Texas to join the fine wine team of a large importing company.  This is where I met Peter, who charmed me with a keen sense of wine and an amazing wine cellar.  We fell in love, and married on one condition: that we would ultimately move back to my beloved California.  When we moved we decided to buy a vineyard and sell the grapes but when it came time to do so we decided we would take the plunge and make our own wines instead.

Peter Spann - Cellar Master/Marketing Director

Photo of cellar master Peter Spann

While attending college in New Orleans in the early 1970s I took a job as a waiter in a French restaurant and became infatuated with classic French wines and food.  My wines of preference were those from Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley.  I pursued a career in the restaurant industry and served as manager and wine buyer for several restaurants before realizing that I belonged solely in the wine business.  I ventured into wine retail, then into wholesale distribution, then into wine importing and marketing and sales company.  These pursuits took me to my favorite wine regions of Europe to learn what the best properties did to make their wines special.  These also led me to California during the wine renaissance of the late 1970s to meet the new small, artisan producers.  After working crush at two different wineries I decided I wanted my own small winery to make unique wines to add to the wine world. In 2000 I finally moved to northern California to take a position with a wine importing company and the temptation was too great.  We bought our vineyard in Glen Ellen and Spann Vineyards was born.