Clajeux Vineyard, Chalk Hill, Sonoma County
A cool and rocky site in the Mayacama Mountains is home to the Clajeux Vineyard. We have hand worked the same 12 rows in this vineyard formerly called Wild Iris since 2003. Planted to clone 7 in well drained volcanic soils, this site is cooled by afternoon breezes sweeping in from the Russian River Valley below and the ocean to the West. As a result, the vineyard is characterized by long slow flavor development in the grapes and naturally low yields.
Bugay Vineyard, Sonoma County
The meticulously groomed Bugay vineyard is chiseled into a volcanic ridge in Sonoma County’s Mayacama range. The cool breezes, rocky soil and naturally low yields lead to concentrated flavors and saturated color in the resulting wines. With a view of the entire Russian River Valley and farmed to perfection by the Bugay family this is truly one of California’s most beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards.
Fellom Ranch, Santa Cruz Mountains
When the Fellom family purchased their ranch at 2200′ elevation on the Montebello Ridge in 1929 it came with an established vineyard planted to Zinfandel. Between 1980-1983 they replanted and expanded this austere mountaintop site with Cabernet Sauvignon cuttings from the Charles Krug Winery in St Helena. The cane-pruned vines grow in soil that is a mosaic of Franciscan Chert, Sandy Loam, Clay and Serpentine, imparting structure and flavors unique to this historic winemaking region. The cool nights and airflow from the Pacific Ocean 16 miles away enable these 30 year old vines to produce balanced grapes with intense concentration and varietal purity.
Griffin’s Lair Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
Joan and Jim Griffin farm their vineyard in the Lakeville region of the Petaluma Wind Gap with serious passion and a keen eye for quality. The extremely windy nature of this vineyard coupled with the diverse clonal selection planted here creates Syrah of great character. Gravelly loam, coastal wind and a view of the bay impart savory and exotic nuance from the tiny Syrah berries grown in this windswept site.
Clary Ranch, Sonoma Coast
The Coast Range Mountains in Northern California take a sudden dip and nearly disappear around Bodega Bay in Sonoma County reemerging as the foot of Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County to the South. It is at this point that cool air over the Pacific Ocean is drawn inland via convective forces through what is referred to as the “Petaluma Wind Gap”. Clary Ranch is planted on a hillside in the Middle Two Rock Valley, at the absolute edge of where Syrah will ripen in California. The resulting wine exhibits soaring aromatics high natural acidity and low alcohol.
Compagni Portis Vineyard, Sonoma Valley
Old Vine White
The Compagni Portis vineyard is a mixed white field blend planted in 1954 to a variety of white grapes including; Sylvaner, Green Hungarian, Riesling, Berger, Gewurtztraminer, and French Colombard. This historic dry-farmed vineyard is planted in soils dominated by fluffy white volcanic ash at the base of Mount Veeder in Sonoma. The site is on land that made up the original estate of Agoston Haraszthy, one of the early pioneers of California wine.
Vare Vineyard, Napa Valley
Ribolla Gialla and Cabernet Sauvignon
Geoge Vare planted his home vineyard at the foot of Mt. Veeder in the western Napa Valley to Ribolla Gialla and Cabernet Sauvignon. The long, cool growing season at this site is moderated by its proximity to the adjacent Redwood forested slopes of Mt. Veeder and its well drained gravelly soils. These factors lead to slow flavor development, great acid balance and moderate sugar in the resulting grapes.
Luchsinger Vineyard, Clear Lake
Trousseau and Touriga Nacional
Bernie Luchsinger planted his vineyard in 1999 in volcanic cobble over ancient riverbed stones at 1,400’ in the Clear Lake AVA west of Kelseyville, California. We currently source our Trousseau and Touriga Nacional from this site. These varieties thrive in the warm days and cool nights under the watchful eye of the Luchsinger family.
Watson Ranch Vineyard, Napa Valley
The Watson Ranch vineyard is perched on a steep hillside overlooking the San Pablo Bay in the southernmost end of the Napa Valley. The vineyard can be seen on the top of the hill just east of the Green Island Vineyard which we sourced fruit from 2007-09. Exposed and austere, the Watson Ranch is a wind whipped site planted in 1993 by the talented grower Salvador Ramos on marine deposits over limestone. This soil type is extremely rare on the North Coast and lends itself perfectly to growing world class Chardonnay. This soil coupled with organic farming techniques and cool windy conditions give this parcel great potential to produce Chardonnay of singular character.
Trout Gulch Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains
The trout Gulch vineyard sits at 800’ above the tiny town of Aptos, about 4 miles from the ocean in Santa Cruz county. The site was planted in 1980 to the old Wente clone of Chardonnay which is considered by many to be the heritage selection of Chardonnay in California.The soils in this cool climate site are sandy loam and the vines are carefully tended by Richard Alfaro. Harvest often stretches until mid October and the resulting wines are high in natural acidity with a notable salinity on the palate. We are excited to work with such a special site and think the wines we have produced so far from this plot will age well in the cellar for years to come.
Legan Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains
The Legan vineyard is a rugged own-rooted planting of Pinot Noir situated at 1,600’ above the tiny community of Coralitos. The hearty vines at Legan are surrounded by the dense Redwood forest of the Southern Santa Cruz Mountains and have been dry farmed since 1980 in deep sandy loam soil. The cooling influence of the nearby Monterey Bay allows for a long steady growing season that coaxes delicate nuance from the fruit grown here. This vineyard spoke to us the moment we set foot in it and thanks to the meticulous work of viticulturist Prudy Foxx we look forward to stewardship of this special site.
Peter Martin Ray Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains
The peter Martin Ray vineyard is part of the original planting of Pinot Noir on Mt. Eden above the town of Saratoga in the Eastern Santa Cruz Mountains. Dating to the late 1800’s this site is of historical significance as many of today’s modern Pinot plantings have been made with genetic material that originated on this hill. The vineyard is 3 acres of old stake trained vines that are dry-farmed at 1,600’ in Franciscan Shale soils. The vineyard is still owned and farmed by Peter Martin Ray the son of legendary California vintner Martin “Rusty” Ray. The site is exposed and the soils here are notoriously poor in nutrients which lead the the vines to struggle for survival. The resulting wine is true to its mountain grown roots and is a nod to the rich history of this site. We are honored to work with the Ray family and look forward to many more years of harvesting beautiful fruit from this plot.
Coastlands Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
The iconic Coastlands vineyard was planted by the Cobb family in 1989 at 1,200’ elevation, four miles from the Pacific ocean above the small hamlet of Occidental on the Sonoma Coast. This site is at the absolute edge of where you can ripen the pinot noir grape in California and the resulting wine is a looking glass into that upbringing. The austere nature of this vineyard ensures low yields and a perennial struggle for the vines that cling to these exposed slopes. Farmed to perfection by Eric Neil the Coastlands vineyard is a true benchmark site on the Sonoma Coast. The resulting wine is structured and wildly aromatic with the potential to improve in the cellar for years to come.
Montecillo Vineyard, Sonoma Valley
The Montecillo vineyard is one of the oldest plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon in Sonoma County and is thriving under the watchful eye of Chuy Ordaz who has tended these vines from the beginning. The vineyard was planted in 1964 on the ridgeline that divides Napa and Sonoma Counties, high above the town of Kenwood. This healthy, old, dry-farmed site is one of the most spectacular Cabernet plantings that we have seen anywhere in the world. We are thrilled to be working with this fruit and early indicators are that the wines possess the structure and balance to age gracefully for decades.
Que Syrah Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
Que Syrah was planted in 1993 by Al and Virginia Rago above the town of Occidental about two miles inland from the Pacific. This is the oldest planting of Syrah on the Sonoma Coast and the Ragos are true mavericks in cool climate farming of this grape variety in California. Beginning in 2013 we were lucky to become the new stewards of this site and now have complete control over the farming. Our first effort from the vineyard has exceeded our high expectations in terms of quality and purity. The wine is electrifying in its spicy aromatic personality and fills the glass with a mix of brilliant fuchsia color and vibrant briary fruit. Que Syrah has already shown great potential in our cellar and we look forward to unlocking its riches for years to come.