Michel-Schlumberger’s first vines were planted in 1979 by Jean-Jacques Michel, who was a native of Switzerland. Michel traveled far and wide across Northern California searching for the perfect place to establish his winery. He immediately recognized the potential of the Dry Creek Valley climate and soils to produce premium Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Chardonnay grapes, and the contoured exposures of Wine Creek Canyon, in particular, to create very unique flavors, especially in red wines. In 1991, Jacques Pierre Schlumberger joined the winery team, bringing with him a more than 400-year family legacy of winemaking in Alsace, France.
The Michel-Schlumberger brand was born, and over the years, the reputation of the wines and the beauty of the Estate garnered attention from around the world. In 2011, Schlumberger retired and the Estate evolved again, with investment and new management committed to taking the wines and the winery to even greater heights. The mission-style architecture of the Estate harkens to Michel-Schlumberger’s European roots while honoring the influence of the Spanish in early Californian history. Today, the winery’s white stucco walls, terracotta tiled roof, bell tower, and grand courtyard offer a spectacular place to enjoy a day in the Wine Country. Our Estate heritage is reflected in our guest experience. This includes motorized tours through the vineyards, walking cellar tours through our production area, barrel tastings, and seated reserve tastings of our award-winning, low production wines.
Michel-Schlumberger’s vineyards are stitched across the rolling hills with Wine Creek quietly running along the front of the Estate. The property boasts more than 88 acres of prime benchland vineyards—long, narrow strips of level land bound by steeper slopes above and below, renowned for producing healthy, high-quality grapes. Our winemaking team goes to great lengths to match plant material, spacing and trellising to specific elevations on the Estate to best take advantage of the characteristics of each site. The distinct combination of benchland and hillside terroir and specially selected clones create wines that are elegant in style, without the heaviness associated with Old World varietals.
While we focus on our signature varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Chardonnay, more than 15 varietals are grown on the Estate. Here, you will find rarer styles and blends, including Pinot Blanc and Petite Sirah. Located just 17 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the relatively cool growing season of our Dry Creek Valley Estate nourishes a distinctive balance in the grapes, ripening them slowly and evenly. Both red and white varietals retain a measure of acidity, making for lively wines with bold flavors, imprinted with the indigenous flavors of the Estate and intriguing nuances of each vintage.
From the very beginning, our commitment to preserving the land and environment cannot be overstated. We pride ourselves in leading the way in Wine Country Sustainability.
In June 2016, with the assistance of Westcoast Solar Energy, we designed, engineered, and installed a 215-kilowatt energy generating system. It’s the largest solar energy generating system in Dry Creek Valley, consisting of 672 ground-mounted solar panels and three inverters.
The system generates all our electrical needs, and in a typical year we generate more electricity than we use and sell the excess back to the energy provider on the grid.
Over the life of the system we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 5,000 tons of CO2, which is the equivalent of planting over 200,000 trees.