Bruce and Barbara Neyers grew up together in Wilmington, Deleware, and married while they were both undergraduate students at the University of Delaware. Bruce’s brief stint in the Army moved them to San Francisco in 1970, where Bruce became interested in wine.
Bruce worked at a French wine importing company in the city before moving to Mayacamas Winery in the Napa Valley in 1972. He spent a year in Germany as an apprentice winemaker in 1974, then 17 years at Joseph Phelps Vineyards. In 1991 he left to begin Neyers Vineyards. At the time Bruce and Barbara began the winery, Bruce accepted a position as national sales manager for Berkeley importer Kermit Lynch. Today he divides his time between these two positions.
Barbara followed her academic training and became a teacher but was soon able to pursue her love of food and cooking as a chef and eventually manager at Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley. Bruce and Barbara raised three children on their home vineyard and ranch in the Conn Valley area of the Napa Valley, and now lead the varied and hectic lives of all vignerons: running a small business, growing grapes on their farm and traveling around the country to oversee the distribution of their wines.
Just for fun, we’re kicking off the tasting with a value priced sparkler from France, Charles de Fere Blanc de Blancs Brut, just $13.99 a bottle.
Here’s the lineup for Neyers:
2011 Neyers Chardonnay, Carneros, $31.00
“Pure, clean and layered, with rich, subtle and delicate notes of peach, fig, honeysuckle and melon. Drink now through 2018. 5,900 cases made.” Wine Spectator
2011 Neyers Sage Canyon Red, $26.00
“Delivers a pure, ripe mix of dark and red berry fruit, touches of fresh-cut flowers and ripe, firm, integrated tannins. Carignane, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Drink now through 2018. 799 cases made.” Wine Spectator
2011 Neyers Zinfandel, Vista Lane, $26.00
“Youthful, with lively raspberry, vanilla and spice flavors. Still coming together. Drink now through 2016. 585 cases made.” Wine Spectator
2010 Neyers Pinot Noir, Roberts Road, $43.00
“Mature, with complex dried berry, anise and savory herb, reaching into damp forest floor, black tea and mushroomy notes that are long and persistent. Drink now through 2020. 179 cases made.” Wine Spectator