Landmark Vineyards may have been founded in the Windsor area of Sonoma County in 1974, but its roots stretch all the way back to 1838. It was in Grand Detour, Illinois of that year that John Deere invented the steel plow – an event that revolutionized the business of agriculture.
In 1989, John Deere’s great great granddaughter, Damaris Deere Ford, following the family tradition in agriculture, relocated Landmark Vineyards from Windsor, to a piece of land at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain in the Sonoma Valley. Damaris convinced her son, Michael Deere Colhoun and his wife Mary to move from the east coast and join her as partners in the winery.
In 1993, they hired world-renowned consulting enologist Helen Turley to work with winemaker, Eric Stern. This collaboration led to some excellent winemaking. Under Eric’s direction, Landmark’s wines have consistently received rave reviews from the wine writers. The signature wine, the Overlook Chardonnay, has appeared on The Wine Spectator Top 100 list 7 times since 1997.
The names of Landmark’s wines reflect their John Deere heritage. Landmark and Overlook were family homes. The Grand Detour Pinot Noir is named for the location of John Deere’s blacksmithing shop in Illinois. And with a nod to the beginning of it all, the Syrah is aptly named “Steel Plow.”