Chaine d'Or Founders: Anne and Jerry Anderson

Anne: Winemaker Emeritus

Anne Anderson developed an interest in, and a taste for wine while living in the county of Surrey in her native England.  A graphic designer by profession, she had the opportunity to travel to California in 1981 in order to sketch the viney ards and interview winemakers for the California section of a book entitled Classic Winemaking of the World.  Having spent several weeks touring wine making areas, on her return to England she continued her education by attending classes on wine appreciation and became a frequent attendee at wine tasting functions. She also served on the staff on the International Wine and Spirits Competition held annually in London. Little did she know that three years later she would marry Jerry and come to live in California.  They dreamed together of planting a vineyard and making wine.  The land was purchased in 1986 and planted in the spring of 1987. 

As the vineyard grew so did the plans for the winery which was finished in 1992.  As the planning continued so did Anne’s education in winemaking, taking courses in oenology at UC Davis and having many discussions with other local winemakers. Not a scientist by training Anne brings to the craft of winemaking an excellent palette and a keen ability to remember the nuances of taste, as well as an orientation toward a “natural” style of winemaking.  After all, great chefs do not measure the pH of a dish to know when it is perfect.  And if it doesn’t taste good, all the chemistry in the world probably isn’t going to fix it. 

 

Jerry: Vigneron Emeritus

Photo by Dasja Dolan

By the mid-1980s Jerry Anderson had been going full steam ahead seven days a week for a long time. After receiving his graduate degree in physics at Berkeley, Jerry worked with a team of scientists that won the Novel Prize for physics in 1968. He went on to run high tech companies during the heyday of Silicon Valley.

Then, at the peak of his career as a scientist and entrepreneur, a sudden heart attack startled him into changing his life. He might never have imagined his career path would lead to driving a tractor at dawn, but when Jerry retired, he and Anne decided to buy the adjacent property and plant grapes.

The division of labor came easily. Since Jerry had a farming and ranching background from his youth in Texas, he was put in charge of the vineyard. Anne had the discriminating palate, so she took over the winery. They both did a lot of research and received assistance and advice from local vintners.

Jerry has found his years as a vigneron enriching and satisfying. “It is a Zen experience doing your work, when nobody is there but you and the drone of the tractor engine.”

The romance has lasted for nearly two decades, but now Jerry and Anne are ready to take a step back and let the Romeros take over hoeing the fields and making the wine.

They’re looking forward to watching the cycle from grapes to bottles from a comfortable distance. With a glass of Chaine d’Or in hand, of course.