"Planting the right varieties in the right locations is first and foremost. If you want to make great wines, you must grow excellent grapes. Nurture the grapes organically and do as little as possible to the wine."
Terra Savia Winemaker Jim Milone feels quite fortunate to have been making wine from Sanel Valley Vineyards for over 40 years. He is a fourth generation Hopland Winegrower, following in the footsteps of his great grandfather, who emigrated from Italy as a young man and operated Hopland's first winery until Prohibition. He grew up working in the family vineyards developing a love for the land that has only increased over time, and founded the first winery in Hopland after prohibition.
His goal in winemaking is to create wines that are true extensions of the grape, vineyard and terroir. Jim's winemaking philosophy has developed over decades of producing a wide variety of wines from many different locations. His mantra: "Put more effort in the vineyard and minimize treatment in the cellar; winemaking starts when you lay down the first compost in the Fall and prune in Winter." Every step of wine production, from pruning to bottling, is considered to minimize our impact on the environment and our products.
Jim favors the production of Bordeaux varietals but has produced some distinctive dry Sparkling Wine and several styles of Chardonnay as well. In keeping with Terra Sávia's collective philosophy, we are producing high quality estate grown organic wines at reasonable prices. From the vine to the glass every step is closely guided by our veteran winemaker assisted by Antonio Martinez who has been working with him in the vineyard and cellar for nearly two decades.