Convention goes up in smoke at Dunnigan Hills winery – Matchbook Wines

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August 24th, 2016

Convention goes up in smoke at Dunnigan Hills winery

by: Lane Giguiere

Lauren King captured the innovative spirit of the Matchbook story in her August 23, 2016,  feature in the Daily Democrat:

A Yolo County winery is blazing a new path in an industry from an unlikely vantage point.

John and Lane Giguiere began Matchbook Wine Company in the Dunnigan Hills to bring great wine and reputation to the region.

The couple met and fell in love at Woodland High School and after college, they joined John’s brother in taking over the family farm.

“I studied psychology in college and it didn’t seem very relevant. Everything was theoretical, nothing real. Putting a seed in the ground and seeing it come out of the ground and grow, that was real,” said John of his decision to move back to the family home.

At first, the couple tried their hand at the traditional trades of the area — dry grains and sheep. When that didn’t work, they tried planting beans, corn, and other irrigated crops. The couple could still not make ends meet.

“In a last ditch effort, we planted 10 acres of grapes to sell to other wineries. We ended up not selling them and instead hired a grad student out of UC Davis to make wine for us. That worked,” recalled Lane.

In the first year, they sold 4,000 cases of wine. In the next year, that number would grow to 40,000 and to 150,000 in the next.

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