The emergence of Williams Selyem as one of California's Pinot Noir leaders is an improbable success story. Founders Burt Williams and Ed Selyem started making wine under the Hacienda del Rio Winery label in a garage in Fulton. Their first wine was a 1981 Zinfandel, but very soon after they began their quest for great Pinot Noir. By the late 1980s, Williams had retired as a typesetter and Selyem had left his job as a wine retailer, and they devoted themselves full-time to winemaking. In 1997, John Dyson bought the winery with plans of planting a 20-acre Russian River vineyard and gradually expanded production. Williams continued to make wine into 2000, after which time Bob Cabral, formerly of Alderbrook and Hartford Court, took over as Executive winemaker.
Quality across the board is exceptionally high, with especially notable Pinot Noirs. There are no secrets to Williams Selyem's success: they seek low yield, fully ripened grapes from superb vineyard sources.
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