The land of what is now the Duncan Peak Estate was first owned by Don Fernando Feliz, a veteran of Mexico’s army circa the early 1820s. Feliz named the land El Rancho Sanel after the indigenous tribe who lived in the region.
The Duncan Peak property entered modern history as the “Duncan Peak Ranch” in 1858 when Elijah H. Duncan purchased part of Rancho Sanel from Don Fernando Feliz. It has remained under the same moniker for the past two hundred years. Before entering the world of winemaking, Duncan Ranch served as a traditional farmstead, raising sheep and cattle and growing hops.
The property became an estate winery and vineyard in 1982, when its third owner, Hubert Lenczowski, planted its first vine and made the first vintage in 1987. Duncan peak Vineyards has been making exceptional wines from Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah since then.
The winery’s current owner, the Jiang family, started farming the vineyard organically, upgrading the wine to the next level by hiring 100-point winemaker Kale Anderson.
Max and Jane Jiang were born in China but have found a home and a dream in the foothills of Duncan Peak. Both siblings were interested in fine wines early because of their parents’ family wine distribution business. But, on the grounds of Duncan Peak Vineyards, their love of wine came to fruition.
The winemaking journey of the Jiang siblings began a few years after graduating from college when the duo banded together with one goal: re-launching the brand Duncan Peak in 2021. After much perseverance and patience, the two breathed new life into the brand and brought the winery to the forefront of the organic viticulture industry.
Today, Jane captains the winemaking, farming, and domestic sale aspects of the winery, while Max has taken charge of international sales and export in Asia. The two continue to take on new challenges as the world of organic winemaking evolves, dedicated to keeping Duncan Peak relevant and at the forefront of boutique winemaking.
Jane and Max have poured their love and soul into the creation of a revitalized Duncan Peak Vineyards. The siblings have spent countless hours rebuilding and revitalizing the Duncan Peak brand. As they continue to grow and nurture the winery, they hope to share the history and character of the property and the delicious vibrancy and uniqueness of its wines with the world.
Wine enthusiasts and vintners know Mendocino County as the world’s “greenest wine destination.” This coastal region of California remains relatively undeveloped, with many organic wineries dotting the lush landscape, earning Mendocino County the title of “America’s Greenest Wine Region.” There are close to 20,000 acres of planted grapevines here.
At Duncan Peak, we are committed to sustainable wine growing and farming our vineyards organically. We utilize natural cover crops and sheep manure from our herds for soil health and nutrients. No harmful chemicals or harsh treatments go near our grapes. All our farming practices consider the entire ecosystem, wildlife, and vines.
The labors of our organic and sustainable vineyard are worth every second of the work. We are so grateful that Mother Nature rewards our hard work with high-quality grapes and, in turn, rewards our clients with high-quality wines.
Kale’s passion for winemaking draws its roots from his respect for the land, which grew from his childhood exposure to Sonoma County’s stunning landscape. In college, Anderson continued to develop a love for the environment during his studies in Viticulture and Enology.
After college, Kale took the winemaking world by storm. In 2008, Kale and his wife Ranko created Kale Wines. Kale specializes in hand-crafted wines using ancient techniques and the latest winemaking technology. His hardwork and dedication to the craft have paid off; Kale holds a rare record as one of the youngest winemakers to receive 100pts from Robert M Parker Jr.
When Jane Jiang set out to find the perfect winemaker for Duncan Winery, she immediately turned to Kale. The two shared a deep passion for wines, and both had graduated from UC Davis. For his part, Kale felt immediately drawn to the history of Duncan Peak Winery and the challenge of revitalizing the brand. He, alongside Jane, built Duncan Peak into the pinnacle of winemaking that it is today. This rockstar duo works together to make the highest-quality wines.
The finest quality of any wine comes from the earth itself in its terroir, the environmental factors that create a wine’s flavors. Our wine expresses Mendocino’s complex terroir. What you taste in the glass is a true and pure expression of our land. We firmly believe that our wine’s rich flavors and qualities display the gratitude of Mother Nature.
Our land’s loamy and gravelly soil makes wine well-rounded, silky-smooth, and full of flavor. A hint of minerality also provides the wines with exquisite layers. And Duncan peak has a long growing season, allowing our grapes to develop rich, unparalleled flavors. As a result, every sip of Duncan Peak wine is a delicious experience.
We strive to preserve our wine’s unique flavor profile by utilizing new technologies and ancient techniques to express the most delicious characteristics of our vineyard. At Duncan Peak, we choose to hand-harvest all the grapes, relishing every moment spent among the beloved vines.
A Spanish artist designed our logo when the winery was first launched in 1982. The logo is an abstract drawing of the ranch’s famous landmark, “Duncan Peak,” and consists of three layers of lines. Each line symbolizes an essential component of the world of wine.
The top line represents terroir: Terroir is “a sense of place” and is the central component of a wine. Terroir encompasses all the factors in a vineyard: soil, location, and elevation.
The second line represents the climate: Climate is a variable that changes every year but also plays a significant role in defining each vintage. For example, a heatwave, a frost, or a storm can cause irreversible damage to grapes.
The bottom row of lines, three arrows, represent the people behind our winery. Besides the importance of climate and terroir, we – the people – are the ones that make everything happen here at Duncan Peak. Ultimately, our relationship with the environment is bound to an alliance of mutual benefit and respect.
Owned by a sibling duo Jane and Max👫
We craft limited ultra-premium wines from our organic estate vineyard with 100 pts winemaker Kale Anderson🍷
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.