While the history of Failla (pronounced FAY-la) is short it is not without its complexities. Founded as Failla Jordan in 1998, it took its name from the husband-and-wife team of winemaker Ehren Jordan and fellow debtor Anne-Marie Failla. That year we planted our Estate vineyard on the Sonoma Coast and began buying fruit for our first releases, the very Rhone-style '98 Alban Vineyard Viognier and '98 Que Syrah Syrah.
Keefer Ranch is located near the headwaters of Green Valley Creek in Sebastopol, with gently sloping, well-drained, south-facing exposure. Marcy Keefer, a nurse, and her husband Robert Keefer, a doctor who is now deceased, purchased the property in 1985. The vineyard was planted in 1988 on the site of a former apple orchard. It consists of 40 acres of Pinot Noir and 10 acres of Chardonnay. Part of the Green Valley sub appellation of the Russian River Valley (officially now named "Green Valley of Russian River Valley"), Keefer Ranch is planted on Goldridge Loam which drains well and is thus particularly valued for its suitability for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The Green Valley is defined by the fog and is usually the first place where the fog comes in through the Petaluma Gap, and the last place where the fog burns off, making it the coolest and foggiest part of the Russian River Valley. Many years ago the area was considered too cool for ripening PInot Noir, but pioneering winegrower Warren Dutton's early plantings (Chardonnay first planted in 1967) here proved otherwise.