by Chris Wills
In 2008, the Shone Farm Foundation was formed to establish a bonded winery to give students in SRJC's Wine Studies Program an opportunity to participate in production, marketing, and sales of wine. The Foundation is composed of local business executives from the agricultural community. In fall 2008, the Shone Farm Winery received its federal permit and crushed its first grapes.
Located in the Warren G. Dutton, Jr. Agricultural Pavilion, the winery uses commercial scale equipment to produce wines representative of the region. Chris Wills, the Ag Pavilion Manager and winemaker, oversees wine making process to teach students current practices of premium wine production.
All wines released to the public under the Shone Farm label must first pass review by a tasting panel made up of leading Sonoma County wine industry professionals. The wine label was designed by a student in SRJC's Graphic Design Program as part of a class project. December 2009 was the debut of the winery's first release, a 2008 Chardonnay. Future releases will include Sauvignon blanc, Pinot noir, Syrah, Syrah Rosé and Zinfandel.
This exciting new venture offers SRJC students practical experience in the wine industry, in addition to producing premium quality wine from the college's own Shone Farm.