Our name, “Left Bend,” refers to the slight leftward bend in the San Andreas fault, which helped form the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Left Bend is a collaboration between winegrower Richard Hanke and winemaker Gary Robinson. Richard and Gary met and became friends while cycling the back roads throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains. Their passion for local, mountain-grown fruit and structured, age-worthy wines, evolved from this shared experience of exploring the rugged beauty of the local hills and canyons.
Richard has been immersed in the Santa Cruz Mountains wine scene since he began helping Gary with Left Bend’s second harvest in 2011. A graduate of Purdue University, Richard believes that some of his school’s famed agricultural expertise has rubbed off. In 2019, Richard began the development of Redwood Grade Vineyard on Mount Madonna, a well-known peak near the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains between Gilroy and Watsonville. The vineyard sits at an elevation of 1,500 feet and overlooks Watsonville, Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay. The first harvest from Redwood Grade Vineyard will be in 2022,, marking. the start of a new chapter in the evolution of Left Bend.
While Richard develops Redwood Grade, Gary has set out on his own new winemaking adventure. Moving from his home of 18 years in Los Gatos–where he began making wine from his small backyard vineyard in the local foothills–to Crested Butte, Colorado, Gary has plans to introduce exciting new wines from California and the Colorado western slope.
Since its founding in 2010, Left Bend has received numerous 90+ point scores and gold medals for its wines. Gary’s favorite project is the Solera-blended Mashup (link to Mashup) wine, which showcases the structure, complexity and aging potential of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from the Santa Cruz Mountains. The latest release, Mashup V6, is a blend of nine vintages, and has already amassed an enthusiastic following. Gary will continue to craft a new version of Mashup each year using the best barrels from Redwood Grade and other premium Santa Cruz Mountains vineyards.