Munselle Vineyards: Farming in the Alexander Valley since 1876 – Six Generations Strong

Munselle Vineyards congratulates the Alexander Valley Winegrowers on its 40th anniversary. Our own family’s history in the Alexander Valley began more than a century beforehand.  Our ancestors came to the Alexander Valley in 1876 with a vision of producing fine wines from the rich soils and ideal growing climate.  Shadrach Osborn was the proprietor of Alexander Valley’s first winery, Lone Pine Cellars, and Broder Frellson, the manager and winemaker for the second … simply titled Red Winery.

Three men standing by a wine tank

Patriarch, Fred Wasson, stands proudly with son-in-law, Bill Munselle, and grandson, Bret Munselle, as they bottle one of their first vintage of chardonnay under the Munselle Vineyards label in 2006.

As generations passed, our family stepped away from wine-making to focus their efforts on cultivation of the land.  While they always continued to farm some amount of wine grapes, they also planted watermelons and tomatoes for the war effort, managed dairy cattle, prunes, and orchards over the years. In 1972, they planted their ranches entirely back to wine grapes.

For five decades we’ve produced premium grapes that have contributed to a multitude of award-winning and notable wines.  In 2006, we elected return to wine-making under the Munselle Vineyards label.  It’s been a meaningful undertaking that we hope will provide continued opportunities for our future generations.  With every grape and bottle we produce, we honor the vision of our ancestors, and the heritage and hard work of our family.

If you would like more information about Munselle Vineyards, our history, and wines, please visit munsellevineyards.com.  In the meantime, we join our fellow farmers, wine producers, and neighbors in expressing our thanks to the Alexander Valley Winegrowers for their efforts to promote all that our beautiful valley has to offer.  Here’s to the next 40 years!

A family photo with children and parents

Munselle Vineyards continues to be a family affair. This photo represents three generations —Reta, Callan, Kristen, Bill, Kassidy, Madeleine, Brynleigh, and Bret Munselle.

Munselle Vineyards Timeline:

1876 – Great Great Grandfather Shadrach Osborn arrives in the Alexander Valley.
1889 – Shadrach constructs the first winery in the Alexander Valley, Lone Pine Cellars.
1893 – First crush takes place at Red Winery; Great Great Grandfather Broder Frellson is Superintendent & Winemaker.
1972 – Grandparents Fred and Ruby Wasson convert all remaining orchards to vineyards.
2006 – Munselle Vineyards crushes first vintage.
2026 – Munselle Vineyards will celebrate 150 years of farming, grape growing, and wine-making in the Alexander Valley.