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Shortly after Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, Alta California became a Mexican Federal Republic territory. Between 1821 and 1848, over 600 land grants were awarded to rancheros throughout California.
As a reward for his military service, Don Fernando Feliz received one of these grants from the Mexican government. Don Fernando Feliz stood atop the pinnacle of his new land where all the eye could see was his to cultivate. The highest point on which he stood would later become known as Duncan Peak.
After the conclusion of the Mexican-American war in 1848, California became a territory of the United States. During this time, Elijah Duncan had moved to Mendocino County, where he purchased land from Don Fernando Feliz. This newly acquired land by Elijah would become Duncan Ranch.
For generations, the Duncan family used most of the land for ranching. Duncan Ranch was home to countless cattle and sheep throughout its untamed plains. The Duncan family used the fertile grounds along the Russian River to grow hops. This popular crop would later lend its name to the town of Hopland.
In 1962 the Lenczowski family acquired Duncan Ranch from Bessie Duncan. The Lenczowski's would continue using the land for cattle and sheep for many years. The head of the family, Hubert Lenczowski would spend his formative years growing up on Duncan Ranch before deciding he wanted something different for this coveted patch of land.
In 1987, Hubert Lencsowski and his wife, Resa Lenczowski, both Harvard graduates, began growing Cabernet Sauvignon. Hubert and Resa became inspired by the elegant wines of the Bordeaux region of France. Soon after the first harvest, the Lenczowski's became a certified and bonded winery with the state of California. Duncan Peaks Vineyards was born and made its first marvelous appearance in the winemaking world.
Tragedy struck in 2012 as the Mendocino Fire claimes the southern block of Duncan Peak Vineyards. Within this block were the two acres of Cabernet Sauvignon planted by Hubert and Resa Lenczowski. Hubert had reached retirement age when the fire swept Duncan Peak Vineyard. With no family willing to take over the vineyard, Hubert decided he would sell both the ranch and the winery.
In 2014, the Jiang family purchased Duncan Peak Vineyards from Hubert Lenczowski. With their knowledge and experience spanning three generations in china, the Jiangs saw untapped potential in Duncan Peak Vineyards. With much work ahead of them, the family began to plan the future of the winery and vineyard.
Due to the growing business overseas in China, Max Luo would return home after completing his Master's Degree at UCLA. His sister, Jane Jiang, would take the reins as she studied alongside some of California's most revered educators in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis. Duncan Peak Vineyards would enter a five-year dormancy during this period.
During the five-year dormancy of Duncan Peak Vineyards, Max established valuable business partners throughout Asia. Following Jane's success at UC Davis, she worked with over ten different wineries spanning the United States and Australia.
Max and Jane would oversee the rebirth of Duncan Peak and restore the vineyard to its previous glory. Together, this brother-sister duo could combine their collective experiences and share this hidden gem with the world again.
Utilizing modern technology and traditional winemaking methods, combined with the vineyard's unique characteristics, a new chapter for Duncan Peak Vineyard begins. In 2021, renowned winemaker Kale Anderson was brought onto the team as the lead winemaker. With Kale Anderson being the youngest winemaker to receive 100 points from Robert Parker Jr, the sky became the limit for Duncan Peaks.