The Heringer Family
Cultivating joy from our family to yours!
Clarksburg, Ca has been the Heringer family home since 1868 when John Heringa immigrated from Holland to California. John came to the Sacramento River Delta with his family to farm and build his legacy. Through the generations the family has farmed various row crops, such as alfalfa, corn, sugar beets, and tomatoes. In the 1970s the Heringer family planted their first vineyard. Those first plantings of wine grapes were the beginning of a changing agriculture market in California and the start of Clarksburg wine country that we love today.
Today the family shows the same boot strapping determination and love for their land and community by Heringer Estates by producing over 30 certified sustainable wines, offering a customizable wine club, hosting private events and weddings, and opening up their home for daily wine tasting.
For Mike Heringer being the Heringer Estates winemaker is about much more than producing wine. It’s about embracing life in a way integral to his core beliefs and values.
“I have a deep passion for the ground, Clarksburg and farming in general. There’s a sense of place, a sense of pride–for Clarksburg, the land, the legacy,” says Mike.
Mike graduated from California State University, Fresno, with a degree in food and nutritional sciences, and an option in enology. Before heading back to Clarksburg to start up Heringer Estates, he was assistant winemaker at Pietra Santa Vineyards & Winery in Hollister, CA, and an intern at Raymond Vineyard and Cellar in St. Helena, CA.
In 2003, Mike returned to his home town of Clarksburg, Ca and started Heringer Estates with his father, Steve Heringer. With hard work and determination, Mike and Steve started carving out a niche in the wine industry. As Mike learned more and the company grew his passion grew for his work.
“I’ve kind of fallen in love with the whole process. From pruning to bud break, we start a new chapter–a new season–following the grapes to produce the best wine we can. And we get to do it again and again.”
One of the privileges of working at the winery is being with family.
“I feel really fortunate. A great benefit is that we’re really close,” says Mike. “We’re all cut from the same cloth. We work extremely hard; we hold each other accountable. There’s a lot of love and trust. We work really well together. Everything we do around here is about looking ahead and facilitating opportunities for the next generation. The land, legacy, community, family—they’re here.”
After 12 years in the military as a helicopter pilot and officer, it was a life-long love of the land and a desire for new challenges that brought Stephen Heringer back to the family ranch. Now Vineyard and General Manager for Heringer Estates, Stephen is responsible for day-to-day vineyard operations, supervising team members, overseeing equipment operations and maintenance, and human resources.
“What we do in the vineyard establishes the foundation from which Mike is able to create such fantastic products in the winery.”
As a sixth-generation farmer, Stephen is enthusiastic and motivated to continue the Heringer farming legacy with the integrity and sustainability exemplified by his ancestors.
“Maintaining the reputation previous generations established in Clarksburg and in local and statewide agricultural communities, not only for their values and ethics, but for the quality of their crops is important to me.”
Growing up helping out with farming chores did not develop a passion for farming in Stacy Heringer-McElfish. Row crops were pretty boring commodities to a teenage girl and invoked little desire to work on the ranch as an adult. But with the advent of Heringer Estates winery, things changed. Feeling the allure of the wine industry, Stacy was drawn to this new venture of the family business and in 2007 she became manager of Heringer’s wine club.
“Wine is definitely a fun industry to work in, much more interesting than tomatoes!”
With a growing wine club, Stacy most enjoys the events at Heringer Estates, in which her recreation administration degree, with a concentration in special events, from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, comes in handy. All events celebrate the Heringer Estates wine club family in fun and interactive settings, and new wines and winery news are shared.
“I really enjoy greeting people, having conversations, and being part of the family business.”
The power couple behind Heringer Estates. “Papa” Steve and Donna Heringer are the parents of Mike, Stephen, and Stacy and could not be prouder of their children for carrying on the family’s agricultural legacy. Both Steve and Donna help with on and offsite events, are very involved in the Clarksburg community, and are over all a huge support for the family business.
Embracing the fullness of life in the Sacramento River Delta, Marjorie and Lester Heringer were dedicated to providing an agricultural heritage for their seven children. As the grandparents of Heringer Estates’ owners Michael, Stephen, and Stacy, the couple continued the farming legacy of Lester’s great grandparents farming crops in the rich soil and providing the opportunity for their children to do the same. Marjoire and Lester enjoyed attending winery events at the family home, visited with guests, and were proud of their grandchildren’s development of Heringer Estates.
It is only with the continued support and care from the community and wine lovers everywhere that Heringer Estates can continue to be a sustainable farm for future generations. The Heringer Family toasts to your celebrations, your small get-togethers, and even your quiet times. The Heringer Family toasts to you!