Soil or “terroir” and the climate and exposure in which the soil exists are really the essence of a wine’s personality. Grape vines are tenacious plants and need to search a bit for their survival in order to thrive and achieve ultimate excellence of fruit quality.
Our vineyards are divided into three parcels, each one planted to the four Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Below the winery the “Clos” (enclosure) is deepest in the gravel/sand deposits. Directly above the winery the steeply sloped plot is composed of more dense and larger volcanic rock, so much so that extensive dynamite explosions were needed for rock shattering to facilitate planting. Further up the mountain lies the 3rd parcel which is made up of the same pink gravel but is underlain with a gray volcanic ash. These locations each contribute their subtle differences to the wine, the whole of which is a synergy of complexity.
Farming is very traditional in a Bordelaise sense. A classical vertical trellis system is used with meticulous hand placement of the canopy to expose the maximum leaf surface to nourish the developing grapes. Throughout the growing season each vine is tended to no less than 16 times. Canopy training, suckering, leaf removal and multiple green grape thinning goes on from mid- April through mid-August, all done by hand to assure accuracy and quality judgment.
Vineyard Appellation Designations:
8.5 acres – at winery location – St. Helena Appellation
20 acres – above winery – St. Helena Appellation
60 acres – Rutherford Bench Appellation
2-4 tons jacketed stainless steel for red;
225 liter Burgundy barrels for white
Length of Fermentation:
Red: always in barrel;
White: no malolactic
75% new, 25% two year old barrels
Red: Several Bordeaux coopers
White: Francois Frères; 10% new; 90% mix 2-4 year old barrels
100% Estate bottled
Red: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot
White: 100% Chardonnay