Raeburn Winery | The Crew
9
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-9,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,qode-theme-ver-9.4.2,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.11.2.1,vc_responsive

“My mother was big on individuality, striving and not letting anyone hold you back”

derek_white

Derek Benham

Owner

Derek was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, at the southern end of the great San Joaquin Valley. Derek spent his childhood summers working in the fields pulling weeds, harvesting potatoes, and trellising grapes, but he frequented the Sierras with his mother Phyllis, an ardent environmentalist and bird watcher. She was fearless, spending days in the mountains on her own with a young child and a notebook to record her wildlife and bird observations—all of which shaped Derek for the road ahead.

Derek attended the University of California, then promptly joined the wine industry after graduation. In 1990, Derek and his brother founded Codera Wine Group and created the Blackstone brand. Two years later, they purchased the old Hallberg apple cannery in Graton, California, which had been converted to a winery in 1979. After seven successful years, Blackstone was sold in 2001. That same year, Derek started Purple Wine Company based in Graton.

In 2014, he founded Raeburn Winery in honor of his mother in the beautiful Russian River Valley where its world-class vineyards and thriving watersheds pay constant homage to her dedication to land stewardship.

Derek Benham

Owner

Derek was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, at the southern end of the great San Joaquin Valley. Derek spent his childhood summers working in the fields pulling weeds, harvesting potatoes, and trellising grapes, but he frequented the Sierras with his mother Phyllis, an ardent environmentalist and bird watcher. She was fearless, spending days in the mountains on her own with a young child and a notebook to record her wildlife and bird observations—all of which shaped Derek for the road ahead.

Derek attended the University of California, then promptly joined the wine industry after graduation. In 1990, Derek and his brother founded Codera Wine Group and created the Blackstone brand. Two years later, they purchased the old Hallberg apple cannery in Graton, California, which had been converted to a winery in 1979. After seven successful years, Blackstone was sold in 2001. That same year, Derek started Purple Wine Company based in Graton.

In 2014, Derek created Raeburn Winery—a nod to this beautiful Russian River Valley, its world-class vineyards, and thriving watersheds—with the egret crest as homage to Derek’s mother and the winery’s dedication to land stewardship.

“Don’t assume you’re going to do the same thing year after year. True winemaking doesn’t mean following a recipe—you’ve got to see what Mother Nature provides each vintage and change your game plan on the fly.”

joe_color

Joe Tapparo

Winemaker

Raeburn Winemaker Joe Tapparo considered the vines of Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley his playground as a child. His great grandfather planted a vineyard near the family home, and as he grew older, was put to work pruning and trellising, learning the trade directly from his family. He daydreamed about the day that he would make his own wine.

Joe’s dream led him to study Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis. Post-graduation, he dove in, gathering experience from across the industry. In 2008, he was hired by Purple Wine + Spirits to work at the Olivet facility in the Russian River Valley, and eventually earned a much-deserved promotion to Winemaker for Raeburn Winery in 2013. His first vintage of Raeburn, the 2013, earned critical acclaim including a Best of Class/Gold medal at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair.

Joe Tapparo

Winemaker

Raeburn Winemaker Joe Tapparo considered the vines of Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley his playground as a child. His great grandfather planted a vineyard near the family home, and as he grew older, was put to work pruning and trellising, learning the trade directly from his family. He daydreamed about the day that he would make his own wine.

Joe’s dream led him to study Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis. Post-graduation, he dove in, gathering experience from across the industry. In 2008, he was hired by Purple Wine + Spirits to work at the Olivet facility in the Russian River Valley, and eventually earned a much-deserved promotion to Winemaker for Raeburn Winery in 2013. His first vintage of Raeburn, the 2013, earned critical acclaim including a Best of Class/Gold medal at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair.