Domenic Galleano on Cucamonga Grenache
Grape culture has played an important role in our valley’s economic and social ire almost from the time the first Spaniards viewed the foothills of the majestic San Gabriel Mountains. Today, I share news about a recent visit to the Historic Hofer Ranch in Ontario where I toured the Grenache vineyard harvest with Cucamonga Valley winemaker Domenic Galleano.
The Hofer Ranch was founded by Sanford Ballou and his son Benton in 1888. Paul Ballou Hofer helped create the Cucamonga Pioneer Vineyard Asso. in 1934 as the valley’s first wine producing and marketing cooperative controlled by local growers.
Hofer’s sons, Paul, Jr. and Phillip continued their father’s leadership, and today, Paul Hofer, III farms a portion of the original family ranch, striving to maintain a remnant of the area’s viticultural heritage. Hofer Ranch is a National Historic Registered Property, sheltered from the neighboring Ontario Airport jetway and industrial buildings.
Domenic Galleano explained that the beautiful Grenache from Hofer Ranch are selected each season for their winery’s award-winning August Grenache release – a delicious dry rosé-style wine. “The quality is fantastic and consistent. The wine produced rivals the best of Oregon grown dry Grenache releases,” said Galleano.
The 2015 growing season produced a high quality, abundant crop, offering approx 40 to 50 large clusters of sweet berries per vine – free of mildew with limited raisined berries.Grenache (Garnacha) is a popular and most versatile red-skinned wine grape variety widely grown in France, Spain, Australia and the United States. It ripens late and does quite well in hot, dry conditions. The Hofer Ranch is home to one of our valley’s few remaining Grenache vineyards.
Galleano’s 2014 August Grenache is available at the Galleano Winery tasting room for 17.95 bottle. Call 951-685-5376 or visit www.galleanowinery.com
Gino L. Filippi is a fourth generation Cucamonga vintner. He can be reached at Ginoffvine@aol.com