Brad Alper is the Winegrower and owner of Square Peg Winery and Estate Vineyards. The vineyards are located 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the southwestern corner of the Russian River Valley, at an elevation of 800 feet. Square Peg currently focuses on Dry Farming two clones of Pinot Noir: Calera and 828.
Brad displays a deep appreciation for the terroir of the Square Peg Estate vineyard. “We’re very fortunate that our vineyard supports Dry Farming; while growing Pinot without irrigation adds more work to the already labor intensive process of farming Pinot Noir, the extra work pays dividends by producing grapes of the highest quality and ultimately making wine that truly showcases the terroir. There are several iconic wineries making wine from grapes grown in our immediate area, but Square Peg is the only vineyard which practices Dry Farming”. Since Brad lives on the Estate he’s in the vineyard virtually every day, ensuring the high level of care and maintenance that his vines have become accustomed to.
“It’s in the hands of our winemaker William Knuttel that our Pinots really shine. I’m grateful to have Bill as my winemaker and friend” says Brad. William was the head winemaker at Saintsbury from 1983 to 1996 where he helped establish the brand as a leader in high end Pinot Noir. From 1996 to 2003, he was the vice president and winemaker at Chalk Hill Winery and then the executive winemaker at Dry Creek Vineyard from 2003 to 2011. Bill currently owns and operates his own winery in Sonoma.
Originally an airline pilot, Brad planted his first vineyard block in 1994 and after many years of juggling aviation with viticulture he decided to focus on winegrowing and retired early from American Airlines in 2012.
Brad, along with his wife Alanna and son Alex, manage all aspects of Square Peg including operating their new Estate Vineyard tasting room/art gallery located just north of the town of Occidental. Additionally, they co-own and manage a second wine label, Ottimino, which has specialized in Dry Farmed Russian River Valley Zinfandel for nearly 20 years.