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Healdsburg, CA

Optima Winery

Powerful wines from the Alexander Valley

The story of how the founder of Optima Winery won over his wife is too good of a story not to tell. Mike Duffy had been making amazing Optima wines since 1984, but didn't meet his eventual wife until 2000 when he picked Nicol's son to play for a traveling soccer team that he coached. One night, after getting to know each other, Nicol invited Mike to dinner and pulled out a bottle of Optima Russian River Chardonnay. Mike promptly explained to her that Optima was his winery and he made that wine. After hearing that, she knew she had to marry him, so in 2001 Mike and Nicol got married at a winery in Healdsburg. Now THAT is the power of craft wine!

Crafting small lot wines for over 36 years

Meticulously farmed vineyards and hands off winemaking

For Mike, owning a winery was the culmination of a labor of love and a dream fulfilled. It was apparent at an early age that he was destined to pursue a career in the wine business. His father was an avid home winemaker and Mike was fascinated by the process and would often help his dad. For Mike, this became his calling, a life-long ambition that began in the family garage. There, Mike would take any fruit he could get his hands on and craft it into wine. While just a sophomore in high school, Mike declared his intentions to major in enology at UC Davis, the Princeton of winemaking.