John Tracy, CEO of Owl Wine Services and creators of Rowdy Bush, is one of the more interesting people we've met in the wine business. He earned his Bachelor of Physics at MIT, his Doctorate of Physics at Michigan State and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Washington. Quite an accomplishment for one person. We don't even know three people with those degrees!
In 1992 he formed Opto Power Company, which manufactured high power diode lasers, the engines that powered the lasers. This is a bit too technical for our wine brains, but needless to say, impressive. Seeking something more soothing, John formed Owl Ridge in 2004 as a custom crush facility in Sonoma and has worked behind the scenes in crafting some of the finest wines in the state. Winemaker Joe Otos had a limited partnership with John even before founding Owl Ridge. They were buying small lots of grapes and using other wineries to make the wine. Finally, John decided it was time to have their own facility and Owl Ridge was born. They focused on cornerstone wines from Sonoma, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, but also found incredible old vine Petite Sirah in Lodi, which became part of the mix. The name refers to the gnarly branches of the 100 year-old vines.
Aging in premium French oak barrels made it an even more imposing wine. From strawberry jam to black pepper and caramel, this is a wine for the ages or at least a lamb stew, eggplant parmesan or steak sandwich.