DANIEL GEHRS RETIRES AFTER 40 YEARS OF LIVING THE DREAM!
LOS OLIVOS, CA, March 10, 2017 – Daniel Gehrs, of Daniel Gehrs Wines, has announced his retirement after more than 40 wonderful years of making wine and working in the wine industry.
What began as a casual interest in college developed into an award‐winning and stellar career as a California winemaker. From a small mountaintop vineyard in Saratoga, Daniel Gehrs worked his way around the industry until settling in Los Olivos in the 1990s. He helped develop the Santa Ynez Valley into one of the top wine destinations in the world, which now receives over 1 million visitors annually. Truly the legacy of Daniel Gehrs in the winemaking world will always be a part of the winemaking style in the Santa Ynez Valley.
For the past 27 years, Gehrs has been a leader in the Santa Ynez Valley wine industry, first with Zaca Mesa Winery, then with his own label, Daniel Gehrs Wines. Many locals and visitors from all over the world have become familiar with the beautiful yellow and white cottage at 2939 Grand Ave in Los Olivos where the Gehrs have poured wine for more than 16 years. “We have met and made friends with so many people from locals to people from all over the world who have just walked in our doors,” Robin said.
Daniel and Robin Gehrs thank everyone who has been part of their dream – their family, friends, employees, and of course, their devoted and loyal customers. “We have had the absolute joy of being a part of the community and doing what we love, and our hope is whoever buys the tasting room enjoys everything as much as we did,” Daniel added. For anyone interested in buying or leasing the tasting room property visit www.2939GrandAve.com.
History of Daniel Gehrs Wines
Daniel Gehrs Wines is the personal expression of winemaker Daniel Gehrs, whose vision of wine is simply this: “The holy grail of my winemaking is the taste of the grape on the day of harvest.” Dan hastens to add: “The first duty of a wine is to be interesting. Life is too short for boring wines”. Closely following this dictum is a second, simply put “A wine must taste good. Not just for ‘tasting’ but for ‘drinking’!” Dan firmly believes in wine as food. He remembers: “When I worked at Paul Masson back in the ‘70’s, I guided tours for awhile, through their vast cellar. One of the signs I always pointed out to visitors said: ‘Wine is food’. That’s stuck with me to this day. My greatest experiences with wine have always been in the company of food. So when I’m making and blending wine I’m really thinking about it in terms of complimenting and enhancing food. That rules out blatantly ‘over the top’ or ‘trophy’ wine styles that the press loves to fawn over. They can be terrible with a meal!” He is quick to add: “I’ve never liked the ‘Hollywood’ celebrity image some wineries and winemakers seem to crave. After all, there are better ways to become rich and famous than to make wine!”
Dan, as he is known to his friends, entered the California wine business in 1974 having just graduated from college the year before. He worked for Paul Masson Vineyards in Saratoga, CA for two years in public relations but really craved a career in hands-on winemaking and grape growing. His chance came in 1976 when Dan, his wife Robin and Victor Erickson founded Congress Springs Vineyards on Erickson’s property in the Santa Cruz Mountains which had been a working winery for half a century but was in a state of advanced decay by the early ‘70’s. Congress Springs grew and prospered and in 1980 Dan’s Congress Spring’s 1978 Pinot Noir was awarded Wine Spectator’s “Spectator Selection” honors. This was followed up with the ’85 Chardonnay in which, in 1986, became the most awarded wine in California, surpassing all other varietals, according to the annual California Grapevine survey.