Our Story Overview
The first decade of Jim and Mary Dierberg’s California wine adventure was spent searching for the ideal location to plant a vineyard and start a new winery. In 1996, driving upon the former dude and cattle ranch – Star Lane Ranch, Mary Dierberg recalled: “We immediately knew that we wanted this amazing ranch”. With wisdom from patience, a 250 year plan, the certainty of passion, and some of the best consultants in the business, the Dierbergs planted Star Lane Vineyard with Bordeaux varietals, based on their confidence in those grapes’ ability to soar in this unique microclimate. The family subsequently added two cool climate vineyards represented by the DIERBERG wines; creating a collection of superb estates within three distinct AVAs of Santa Barbara County’s winegrowing region.
Bankers by profession, Jim and Mary are no newcomers to wine. Since 1974, they’ve owned the Hermannhof Winery in Hermann, Missouri, which was one of the United States’ most significant wine-growing regions prior to Prohibition. Located about an hour’s drive west of St. Louis, Hermannhof is one of America’s oldest wineries. The Dierbergs have dedicated the past 40 years to renovating the property and raising its reputation as a place for education and entertainment.
While the town’s history and charm brought the Dierbergs to Hermann, the region’s Midwestern climate cannot support the traditional European varietals that Jim and Mary have become fans of over the years. In the 1980s, the Dierbergs began looking outside of Missouri for a place to plant that passion. After realizing that properties in Bordeaux and Napa Valley weren’t suitable for their desires, they chanced upon Star Lane in 1996. It was love at first sight.
Today, the entire operation is one big family affair, with the Dierbergs’ grown children and their spouses intimately involved in the day-to-day operations of the vineyard and winery. “When we drive on the ranch, it’s almost a religious experience,” said Mary. “We absolutely love Star Lane, and being stewards of this place is truly a privilege for our family.”