The Housley Family has been in the winemaking business for quite some time. What are your favorite aspects of running this business with your family?

We have been growing wine for 40 years and making it now for 18 and the best part is seeing it all develop. Everyone pitches in. Tamera has even helped clean tanks and my brother and I while  my dad runs the crusher and the press and helps with the bottling line. In fact, we are bottling in mid-April for two days. It's just very cool to see the harvest come in, and then help with the whole process and aging and then a few years later being able to open that bottle and share it with friends knowing you made it from the very beginning and your name is on it.

For those that have a few bottles of wine at home, what are some best practices for storing wine in our homes?

Three things hurt wine: air, light and temperature. Even if you don't have a special cellar or wine fridge, you can still safely store wine. Closets many times are great. The temperature doesn't change much, hopefully. Closets have no direct light and the wines won't be opened, so air won't damage them. I also like to rotate the bottles every couple of months and make sure they are stored on their sides so the cork won't dry out.

What kinds of wine technology is out there that can help to enhance the wine drinking experience at home?

There are some great new gadgets to decant wine at home. Of course, the old way of pouring into a decanter is still very cool, but if you don't want to wait and want to ensure your wine is properly decanted there are some fantastic options. Coravin, for example, also allows you to save your wine. We usually finish the bottle when we open it, but if you just want one glass or two and don't want to worry about losing the rest, Coravin has some great options that have impressed us.

With the spring and summer seasons are upon us, what are your favorite wines for gatherings with family and friends during the warmer months?

I think wines of all types can be enjoyed at all times of the year and also with all types of food. I know that isn't always the common belief, but we have truly enjoyed whites and reds in all situations and with all types of food. Specifically though, we are biased and love our Century Oak Rosé ice cold on warm days and our Old Vine Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon on days where a nice, full-bodied red is desired. We generally start with a white wine for gatherings. The ones standing out lately are Stewart Chardonnay, Luna Estate Pino Grigio, Hook & Ladder Chardonnay and Black Stallion Rosé. On the red side, which even on hot days can be enjoyed, we are liking Caymus Suisun Gran Durif, Elyse Cabernet Sauvignon, Darioush Duel, which is a cab and shiraz blend, Silverado Solo and A. Rafanelli Zinfandel to name a few.

What is your favorite wine and what meal pairs the best with it?

It really depends on the company, the weather and the food. Not just plugging our wines, but they pair so well with food and for the first time Tamera and I have a field blend red wine, so we do serve our own. However, we love so many wines right now. There are two meals we love and are our go-to in wine country. We love a bottle of Lokoya Cabernet paired with a seared marbled steak from Five Dot Ranch. We get good marbleized meat and then sear it and season it with fresh herbs from our garden including rosemary and good salt. Our other go to is a bottle of Darioush Cabernet with a homemade ragu pasta with fresh parmesan on top. For a lighter meal, we make a summer salad of chunked heirloom tomatoes, watermelon, cucumbers, white onion, avocado, then chopped mint and cilantro sprinkled with rock salt and goat cheese. Pair that with a bottle of Mira Chardonnay.

Any advice for individuals or families who are interested in making their own wine?

Whether you are going to make a private label, make wine at home or sell to consumers the best advice is to spend some time in a vineyard. Go out for each season and truly see how a great vineyard grows. Sucker it. Prune it. Watch it bud. Help develop the canopy. Drop fruit. Then pick it at just the right time. Watch it after harvest as the leaves change colors and gently fall to the soil. Once you've done that, taking classes about winemaking and spending time at a winery for harvest and bottling will make more sense and you'll appreciate how important it is to make good grapes. You can't make good wine from a bad vineyard.