Our Story

An acorn is a popular symbol of prosperity, good fortune, and potential. (Everyone knows mighty oaks from little acorns grow.)

We are tiny like an acorn. Our winery is framed by tall oak trees. Our wine is aged in oak barrels. So ACORN seemed the perfect name for our winery.

Bill traded in his law books for books on viticulture, pruning shears, and a tractor when we purchased Alegría Vineyards in 1990. In the early years, he was in the vineyards every day, and Betsy helped out on weekends, but within a few years she too was ready for a change and joined Bill full time.

At first, we sold all of our grapes to other wineries, and they produced highly prized Alegría Vineyard-designated wines. Then in 1994, we decided to make some wine ourselves and established ACORN Winery. Our first release, in 1996, was our 1994 Sangiovese.

Gradually, we kept more grapes for ACORN and added other wines. Now we make ten different wines—Russian River Valley Heritage Vines Zinfandel from the original 1890s vineyard,
Russian River Valley Axiom® Syrah,
Russian River Valley Cabernet Franc,
Russian River Valley Sangiovese,
Russian River Valley Dolcetto,
Russian River Valley Alvarinho,
Russian River Valley Grüner Veltliner,
two proprietary blends—Medley® and Acorn Hill®, and a flavorful Rosato (a dry Rosé).
We sell more than half our grapes to other wineries. Several of them vineyard-designate the wines.

Our production remains small, at about 2,000 cases each year. All our wines are made from grapes we grow ourselves at Alegría. Every wine is a field blend, following the ancient tradition represented in the mixed planting that is our original 129-year old vineyard. Every wine is made by co-fermenting multiple varieties. We like to say that our wines are blended from the day they are picked. This is what sets ACORN wines apart.

Today, after more than 30 years, we continue to find alegría living in the middle of our vineyards, enjoying the cool Russian River Valley climate, and continuing a long tradition by sustainably growing premium quality grapes and producing acclaimed award-winning wines.

Bill and Betsy Nachbaur, photo taken by Dr. Michael H. Huang
Photo: Michael H. Huang, M.D.

Acorn Winery owners Bill and Betsy Nachbaur in their Alegria Vineyards
Owners Betsy & Bill Nachbaur