Fritz Stuhlmuller’s introduction to wine occurred years before the wine business became his passion and profession. As a teen, Fritz spent weekends, vacations, and summers at his family’s vineyard property in the Alexander Valley, where he was exposed to the challenges and excitement of viticulture. Working amongst the vines, Fritz gained an early appreciation for the hands-on commitment required to produce superior wine grapes.
Fritz graduated from the University of Southern California in 1994 and returned to the San Francisco Bay Area with a degree in business administration. Though he enjoyed success in his first career, commercial real estate, he was interested in pursuing other opportunities. During this same period, Fritz found his love of fine wine steadily growing. Inspired by his early experience working in the family vineyard, Fritz began exploring California’s great wines with an eye towards the unique character imparted by varying appellations. In the course of his exploration, Fritz tasted several Stuhlmuller vineyard-designated wines produced by other wineries. He was impressed with the complex, expressive, terroir-driven wines being made from the fruit of the 150-acre Stuhlmuller vineyard property. Sensing an ideal opportunity to combine his family’s reputation as top grape growers with his own passion for fine wine, Fritz established an estate winery bearing the Stuhlmuller name.
Working with winemaker Leo Hansen, Fritz has brought the same hands-on, artisan approach to Stuhlmuller Vineyards winemaking that his family has always applied to grape growing. In addition to his active role in both the vineyards and the winery, Fritz oversees all sales and marketing, including the managing and distribution of 12,000 cases throughout California and 20 other states.