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Our Heritage: The Harris Tesla Story
In 1999, Bill and Sandy Thomson, together with Sandy's mother Sharon Harris began looking at property in the Livermore Valley. They located a pristine undeveloped 40-acre parcel above the winding Tesla Road. The parcel boasted incredible views of the valley below and the surrounding Livermore hills. They were so impressed with the beauty of the land they knew it had to be theirs. Recognizing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, they purchased the property.

This unique piece of land had endless potential. They noticed other vineyards in the area and Sandy began gathering information and ideas. Her research revealed that the elevation of the property—over 800 feet above sea level—and the rocky soil made ideal conditions for growing quality wine grapes.

Intrigued by the possibilities, Sandy contacted one of California's most prominent winemakers who, after extensive testing, confirmed that the land was ideally suited to growing high-quality cabernet. Excited by this news, the family decided to become grape growers. The new vineyard was then designed and over 20,000 vines planted in the summer of 2000. Named in memory of Sandy's father Richard Harris and the location of the vineyard on Tesla Road, Harris Tesla was born.

The vines began maturing and producing grapes in 2003. In 2005, Sandy, Bill and Sharon started their own wine program with noted winemaker Derek Holstein. The 2005 Harris Tesla Cabernet is their first release with many more to come!
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