Nicholas Carriger brought his family to Sonoma from Missouri in 1847. He purchased a 1,000-acre parcel a few miles west of the same plaza where the California Republic was born. Choosing his land both for its beauty and its well-drained soils, Carriger would become the first American to grow wine grapes in Sonoma Valley.
On a spring morning 148 years later, Leslie and Mac McQuown walked onto Carriger’s former property. They spoke with one voice:
“Look at those trees!”
The magnificent valley oaks on our property often elicit such expressions of wonder. These huge trees, alive since the Renaissance, are anchored in a hundred-foot-deep mixture of river rock and alluvium washed down by Carriger Creek from Sonoma Mountain, just to the west.
These soils—plus southern Sonoma Valley’s relatively cool climate, owing to a marine influence from the Pacific Ocean and the northern reaches of San Francisco Bay—make this site ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes with Bordeaux-like character.
The McQuowns promptly purchased the property, naming it for a century-old stone wall that bordered a bygone sheep pasture. They eventually expanded the farm to its present-day 16 acres, with 4.4 acres of vines as the centerpiece.
In 2004, Mac McQuown launched a new venture with his friend and previous winemaking associate, Jeff Baker, who brought his winemaking prowess and a small mountain vineyard to the nascent Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards & Winery. Sonoma’s preeminent organic viticulturist, Phil Coturri, completed the talented production team.
Mac had spent his boyhood summers working on a farm and, over time, became a noted entrepreneur, environmentalist, and collector of fine wine. Leslie McQuown brought to Stone Edge Farm her expertise in exterior and interior design and a passion for integrating gracious living with appreciation and respect for nature. Stone Edge Farm is a confluence of the McQuowns’ interests, a blend of ethics and aesthetics, and a demonstration farm for what is possible.
With more than a hundred heirloom vegetables plus olive groves, fruit trees, ornamental plants, herbs, chickens, and beehives, in addition to grapevines, the farm is a wondrously diverse and productive organic garden on a large scale.