In 1970, 23 acres of vineyards were planted, to be followed in succeeding years by some 140 more acres of grapes. Since Guinness was the first one from outside the valley to plant grapes there was no experience to rely on for guidance. Many folks even told him grapes couldn’t be grown in Potter Valley, and there were days when he almost believed them. But Guinness persevered.
Over the years as he planted and tended to the vineyards, he tried various grape varieties to see which ones would do the best and make the best wines. Some of his experiments worked; some didn’t. There’s no cabernet sauvignon at McFadden Vineyard anymore, nor grey riesling nor pinot St. George. They didn’t like it in Potter Valley. But sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, white riesling, gewürztraminer, pinot noir, pinot gris, and zinfandel love it in Potter Valley!