In 1970, San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach and his wife Christine
staked their claim in the wine grape business by purchasing 24 acres of old-vine Zinfandel in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. They founded the very successful De Loach Winery which they sold in 2003. The Hook & Ladder Winery was founded a year later focusing on their Russian River Valley estate vineyards.
Cecil retired from the San Francisco Fire Department in 1982 after a 16-year career. His time as a fireman was as influential to forming his character as nearly any other aspect of his life. He chose the name "Hook & Ladder Winery" for his latest winery project to honor his years on the fire truck.
The winery and tasting room is back off the highway in a cluster of buildings surrounded by wine making equipment. The tasting room shares space with oak barrels brimming with wine. The hospitable staff will lead you through a tasting of their Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, White Zinfandel, Gewurztraminer and some nice blends including, The Tillerman and Station Ten.
Over the years the family has joined the winery business. The oldest grandson Jason De Loach is the new winemaker; son Michael De Loach heads up marketing and granddaughter Sarah De Loach oversees West Coast sales.