Starting in 1985, John Alban planted grapes for other people until he bought an estate in 1989. With a focus on creating wines made from Rhône Valley varietals, Alban came to be a pioneer of the Rhone Rangers movement, and is considered one of the most influential American Rhone producers. On beginning to grow Viognier, Alban stated “I almost single-handedly doubled the world’s acreage,” referring to a time when its cultivation was reduced to 50 acres (20 ha) in two areas of the Rhône Valley, Condrieu and Château-Grillet. Alban’s work, along with that of Josh Jensen of Calera Wine Company in San Benito County, helped to significantly expand plantings of Viognier in California at a time when the varietal was near extinction.
Within a 250-acre (100 ha) area, the vineyard area extends 60 acres (24 ha), planted with varieties Syrah, Viognier and Roussanne. Among the wines produced are the Lorraine Vineyard, Reva Vineyard Syrah, Seymour’s Vineyard Syrah, and Pandora, a blend of Grenache and Syrah. There has also been produced a dessert wine with ca. 5% botrytis grapes and aged in 50% new oak, named Rotten Luck.
For more information on Alban Vineyards, click here.