David Hirsch purchased the land that would be come Hirsch Vineyards in 1978. For millions of years, this land was a temperate zone rain forest, but the redwoods had long since been cut down, and by 1978, it was a sheep ranch.
David planted his first vines in 1980, making it the oldest premium Pinot Noir vineyard on the True Sonoma Coast. Through 2001, all of the grapes were sold to other wineries, and Hirsch did not produce any of its own wine. In the early 1990s, the vineyard became one of the most sought-after sources for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes in California, and wineries such Littorai, Williams Selyem, Kistler and Failla all made Hirsch-designated wines.
In 2002, after twenty-two years focused on planting and farming, David Hirsch made the decision to build a winery and start making his own wines. The primary motivation was to provide feedback to our farming decisions: with more than 60 farming parcels, spread out over 72 acres, David wanted to taste each individually, to better understand the nature of each parcel’s unique soil and climate, the conditions of the vintage, and the consequences of his farming decisions. In other words, we built a winery to become better farmers.