Haunted by history and romance, the Sonoma Valley was called "Valley of the Moon" by the Native Americans who inhabited the area. As the moon ascended in the evening sky, it appeared to rise, again and again over the peaks and glens of the Mayacamas mountain range. Thus, the moon in all its phases is the symbol for Valley of the Moon Winery and Vineyards, located in the very heart of the Sonoma Valley. The etched design on the bottle of each Valley of the Moon wine depicts the lunar phases surrounded by a "cosmos" of white dots, and the expression of moonlight, the reflected light of the sun. The land on which the Valley of the Moon Winery and Vineyards is located has an illustrious past. Once, it was part of the vast 48,000 acre Agua Caliente Land Grant owned by General Mariano Vallejo, the 19th century Mexican Governor of California. Subsequently, the property changed owners several times until 1863 when the "Stone Tract" portion of the property was conveyed to Mr. George Whitman. According to the best records, Mr. Whitman was the first owner to grow wine grapes on the land. He also built a winery there and by 1876 his enterprise was a hugely successful one, annually producing 50,000 gallons of wine and 2,000 gallons of brandy. Several years later and several owners later, this property would become a serious winemaking operation. One of the owners was George Hearst, father of the now famous newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Today, the Valley of the Moon Winery and Vineyards is distinguished by the marriage of its rich history with a state-of-the-art wine production facility. Unfortunatley, like most California vineyards, the Valley of the Moon property languished during Prohibition and its aftermath, awaiting the wine Renaissance of the 1960’s and 70’s. Under the guidance of present owner Mike Lee, this property has been resurrected. Embracing the traditions of Sonoma County, one of the world’s most famous wine growing areas, the creation of Valley of the Moon wine begins with hand selecting the absolute highest quality fruit available – from the estate’s vineyards and those of a few select growers in Sonoma County. As vineyard management is, quite simply, the most important part of winemaking, these vineyards are chosen on the basis of their long histories of producing the absolute highest quality fruit. These Valley of the Moon properties are blessed with days warmed by the sun – a "banana belt" type microclimate, which allows the grapes to develop deep, rich flavors and colors. And, the cool Sonoma Valley evenings, characterized by the nightly fog banks that roll in from the Pacific Ocean into the Sonoma Valley, keep the fruit at an optimum temperature. Valley of the Moon produces traditional red and white varietals, bottling an outstanding Zinfandel from a vineyard planted in the 1940’s, a Syrah, a Sangiovese, a Barbera and a Meritage called Cuvee de la Luna, in addition to the winery’s benchmark Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay offerings. When Valley of the Moon wines are bottled they are in a range of twenty-five to thirty-five parts per million free-sulfites. This is a very low percentage, especially for white wines. Furthermore, Valley of the Moon uses no other preservatives in its wines due to improved filtration technology and a philosophy that espouses healthy, natural tasting wines.