Like Apples to Pinot

Those who are new to Sonoma County wine country, Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir country specifically, may be surprised to learn that half a century ago this area’s most famous crop was Gravenstein apples, instead. Those locals who lament the uprooting of so many old, declining and no longer profitable apple orchards, on the other hand, may be surprised to learn that vineyards covered a lot of this same area before orchards took over.

Husband-and-wife owners of Horse & Plow, Chris Condos and Suzanne Hagins, are both career winemakers. Condos is cofounder of a successful, small wine brand called Vinum Cellars, while Hagins, who got into wine via the restaurant business in Charleston, South Carolina, worked in wineries in Burgundy and Sonoma County before starting her own label, “Lutea,” which is now folded into the couple’s “The Gardener” label.