Thomas George Estates Winery was established in 2008 when Tom Baker acquired the winery and vineyard of Russian River Valley wine pioneer Davis Bynum. He chose the Russian River Valley and the Davis Bynum Vineyard in particular on the basis of his belief that it is one of the best terroirs anywhere in which to grow and produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The Davis Bynum vineyard, now named Baker Ridge, was rejuvenated and replanted in 2008 except for two exceptional blocks of Pinot Noir, Backbone Block and Dexter’s Block which remain from the original 1970’s vineyard plantings of Davis Bynum. This vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Grenache Noir.
The winery, originally a 1920’s hop kiln that Davis Bynum converted into a winery was renovated into a modern, state of the art wine making facility and the winery tasting room, houses and grounds were enhanced. All of this work was done while retaining the provenance and spirit of the Russian River Valley and the legacy of Davis Bynum.
The first vintage of Thomas George Estates wines was produced at the winery in 2008.
In late 2008 Thomas George Estates acquired Cresta Ridge and Starr Ridge, the two Russian River Valley vineyards owned by Gary Farrell, who for many years was the winemaker for Davis Bynum. Cresta Ridge is planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Starr Ridge is planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Grenache Noir.
In 2010 construction of an 8,000-square foot cave was completed that provides for production activities, barrel aging, reserve tastings and private event space.
In 2012 Thomas George Estates acquired a 50-acre vineyard in the Chalk Hill area of the Russian River Valley, now named Sons and Daughters Ranch. From this vineyard Thomas George Estates produces Chardonnay, a white Rhone blend of Grenache Blanc and Viognier and Zinfandel from vines planted in 1885.
Sadly, Davis Bynum passed away in December 2017. He will be greatly missed by everyone at Thomas George Estates. To help perpetuate his memory and the respect that he earned from his many contributions to the wine industry in the Russian River Valley, Thomas George Estates established The Davis Bynum Memorial Viticulture Scholarship at Santa Rosa Junior College which will be awarded by the College annually in perpetuity to the viticulture student judged by the College most worthy of this financial support.