When Barney Fetzer started making wine in Northern California in 1968, people tried explaining to him how the wine industry worked. Barney tore up the rulebook instead. Pursuing an earth-first philosophy and groundbreaking practices, he charted Fetzer in a new direction. The industry is still catching up.


Barney Fetzer had a simple philosophy—what’s good for the earth is good for the grape.


For Charlie Gilmore it’s all about place—those ideal sites where good earth, favorable climate and savvy growers come together to create a wine he can call Fetzer.

As Winemaker, Charlie was given a comfortable chair and a new computer, but he quickly rebelled against office life. You’ll find him in the vineyards every chance he gets, including 4 a.m. mornings and long harvest nights.

“I never wanted to be in the service industry, never wanted to be a lawyer or anything like that,” he says. “I always wanted to do something tactile. To make something you could hold in your hand and appreciate.”

A Sacramento native, Charlie earned his Viticulture and Enology degree at UC Davis in 2000. Internships took him to Napa, Australia and the south of France before he began his distinguished career at some of the most respected wineries in Northern California.

His winemaking philosophy is to “always exceed expectations” and it has borne fruit at Fetzer, where our wines have won more than 200 awards in recent years. Fetzer’s commitment to earth-friendly practices already comes naturally to Charlie. “The sustainable message was something I knew and admired before I took the job. It makes me even more proud to work here.”

This hands-on winemaker has found his place.


Fetzer Vineyards has been a pioneer in sustainable practices for decades with a long list of achievements that include: The first California winery to operate on 100% renewable energy in 1999, the first wine company to publicly report greenhouse gas emissions with the Climate Registry in 2005, the first Zero Waste certified wine company in the world in 2014, and the largest organic wine grape grower in the U.S. certified by CCOF. Now, we look toward the future. We're proud to announce our new B Corp certification, the highest standard for social and environmental responsibility in business. Moreover, Fetzer is implementing a new regenerative business strategy–a promise, if you will–that aims to move the organization beyond its history of sustainability toward creating a positive impact in the environment and in our communities.

OUR VISION is to operate in a way that restores, revitalizes, and regenerates ecosystems and communities, while producing premium quality wines, advancing the health and well-being of employees, and producing sustainable growth for shareholders.

"We have implemented a regenerative strategy at Fetzer Vineyards because our goal is to not only sustain the world we live in, but to enhance it. We are committed to using regenerative and restorative business practices that create positive impacts on our natural environment, the people of Fetzer Vineyards, and our communities." - Josh Prigge, Director of Regenerative Development

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