A baby who wouldn’t sleep began the Moran family sojourn into the wine business. As a two-year-old, John Moran was impossible to get to sleep. Like a lot of parents, we tried to cure him of this by taking him for long car rides. From San Francisco, those rides always went north into some of the prime wine-growing regions of the world.
One rainy Sunday and 90 minutes out of the City, we came upon a large white Victorian home in the middle of a beautiful valley we had never before visited. Even though the rain was coming down in sheets, the house stood out like a pearl in the oyster. We began exclaiming, “Wow!” and “look at that!” (We didn’t have to worry about waking up John because he never did go to sleep.) When we reached the property, there was a large FOR SALE sign out front. The rest, as they say, is history.
We bought the house and the surrounding twelve acres and started two projects: the development of a small winery and the restoration of the house.
Today, Moran Manor is a small family-owned vineyard located in Knights Valley – a stretch of heaven between Calistoga to the East and Alexander Valley to the West. The estate is owned and operated by us – Rich and Carol Moran and our four children.
Always fascinated by older homes, we bought the property in 1996 and set about restoring the old Holmes Mansion. As we did more research about the house and the property, we discovered that as early as 1870, there had been grapes growing on the property for the production of wine. As Knights Valley is home to some of the most prestigious and coveted red wines in California, we asked ourselves, “Why not make the development a key part of our restoration?”
With the initial intent of making a Bordeaux-style blend, we planted a variety of red grape vines. Our vineyard now consists of approximately 65 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 percent Merlot, 10 percent Cabernet Franc and 5 percent Petit Sirah vines. Our first vintage of Anagram, our classic red blend, was released in 2002, and we have been learning and growing and going strong ever since…