Growers Profile

Duff Bevill

The Godfather of Sustainability

Duff Bevill has been farming wine grapes in Sonoma County for over 35 years. He arrived in Dry Creek Valley in 1973 at the age of 22 for a summer job working with Joe Vogensen at his local vineyard management company. In that position, Duff became acquainted with many older farmers in Dry Creek Valley, who taught him old timers’ wisdom and self-reliance. I was in my early twenties, and I would sit in Jim Guadagni’s cellar and drink his homemade wine out of shot glasses and jelly jars. It gave me a sense of history and an appreciation for what it means to be a grape grower in this valley.”

A strong proponent and early adopter of sustainable farming, Bevill was involved in early programming with the California Association of Winegrape Growers that would become the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance in 2003. “Before the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission was formed, Nick Frey and I drove down to San Francisco to meet with CAWG and about 10 other growers to talk through sustainable practices,” says Bevill. “Once the program launched, we visited all the AVAs and helped farmers assess their own practices so they were ready when the certification programs became available for sustainability.”

In 2014, Bevill Vineyard Management became one of the first Vineyard Management companies in Sonoma County to have 100% of their clients certified sustainable. Around that same time, he posed a question (or a challenge) to the new President of Sonoma County Winegrowers, Karissa Kruse: How can we get the Governor of California to recognize the efforts of Sonoma County growers’ sustainable practices? This question led to many discussions that ultimately culminated in the unprecedented commitment and 5-year journey for Sonoma County Winegrowers to certify 100% of vineyards in Sonoma County sustainable in 2019.
Duff has not only been a catalyst in advancing sustainable winegrowing in Sonoma County, but a tremendous supporter of our organization, community and continuing efforts to promote and protect the resources of Sonoma County grape growers for generations to come.

Duff Bevill and his wife Nancy own and lease a total of 80 acres of their own vineyards in the Dry Creek and Russian River valleys. The Bevill family lives in the heart of Dry Creek Valley, surrounded by vineyards.

“You know, for me, it’s just the right thing to do.”

He mentioned this critical interfacing of the land, the environment, and the people. To the Barrs, It’s about preserving all our resources for the future generations, protecting the land, and about how you treat people; taking the time to step back and think about future generations.

Kevin mentioned, in discussing their commitment to sustainability, that he’d always been involved in heading that direction, for some time now, and crediting their business partner Tyler Klick with this vision of a synergy with the environment and all the sound vineyard management ideologies they hold so close. They’ve seen
what’s happened in other industries when they the land isn’t cared for. It’s obvious that the care for the environment is caring for the Barr’s family, children and grandchildren, and by extension everyone in the community and their families. Kevin and Linda made it clear, they’re more about sustaining themselves and the land,
they’re opposed to the mentality of ‘how much money can I take out of this piece of land.’ Mr. Barr made it very clear, that he and his wife, his company, are of the mentality of ‘what can I do to protect the land, the environment’.

Kevin and Linda acknowledge this is a business, and the client list that they maintain is rather sizeable, but there’s compromise for their concern and care, coexistence for the environments, and that their clients depend on them to not compromise on their sustainable beliefs. They need to keep with this care of the soils the vines, the reservoirs and everything that’s a facet to the larger equation. “We’re going to do this the right way,” Kevin declaratively noted.

And for them, it has to be Sonoma County. Kevin living here since 1979, and Linda a 4th Generation Geyserville gal. Kevin mentioned they farm everywhere from Marin to the Siskiyous, but Sonoma County is where their heart is. It’s where the dream is, and that’s where you’ll always find them farming. “There’s just nothing better than Sonoma County,” Kevin said. They see Sonoma County as nothing but phenomenal, a place where you can be successful and live a true attainable dream. One you can taste.

“You know, for me, it’s just the right thing to do.”

He mentioned this critical interfacing of the land, the environment, and the people. To the Barrs, It’s about preserving all our resources for the future generations, protecting the land, and about how you treat people; taking the time to step back and think about future generations.

Kevin mentioned, in discussing their commitment to sustainability, that he’d always been involved in heading that direction, for some time now, and crediting their business partner Tyler Klick with this vision of a synergy with the environment and all the sound vineyard management ideologies they hold so close. They’ve seen
what’s happened in other industries when they the land isn’t cared for. It’s obvious that the care for the environment is caring for the Barr’s family, children and grandchildren, and by extension everyone in the community and their families. Kevin and Linda made it clear, they’re more about sustaining themselves and the land,
they’re opposed to the mentality of ‘how much money can I take out of this piece of land.’ Mr. Barr made it very clear, that he and his wife, his company, are of the mentality of ‘what can I do to protect the land, the environment’.

Kevin and Linda acknowledge this is a business, and the client list that they maintain is rather sizeable, but there’s compromise for their concern and care, coexistence for the environments, and that their clients depend on them to not compromise on their sustainable beliefs. They need to keep with this care of the soils the vines, the reservoirs and everything that’s a facet to the larger equation. “We’re going to do this the right way,” Kevin declaratively noted.

And for them, it has to be Sonoma County. Kevin living here since 1979, and Linda a 4th Generation Geyserville gal. Kevin mentioned they farm everywhere from Marin to the Siskiyous, but Sonoma County is where their heart is. It’s where the dream is, and that’s where you’ll always find them farming. “There’s just nothing better than Sonoma County,” Kevin said. They see Sonoma County as nothing but phenomenal, a place where you can be successful and live a true attainable dream. One you can taste.

During our conversation, we also asked the Barrs a couple fun questions:

If you were not a farmer, what would you want to do for a living?

Kevin: I would have been a firefighter, no doubt. I love that profession and respect all the men and women who put their life on the line to save others.

Linda: A detective. “She’s part cop,” Kevinremarked with a smirk.

What is your favorite harvest memory?

Kevin:Watching the mechanized Pellenc harvester pick grapes from the vines—I could watch it all day if I had the time.

How do you define success?

Kevin and Linda: Having people working for REVM for over 30 years. And having basically the same nucleus crew from day one.