Our high altitude vineyards are on steep terraced hillsides at 2,000 foot elevation where we grow Rhône and Italian varietals that thrive in the cooler climate here and rich red volcanic granitic soil. The special rootstock we selected goes deep to tap Sierra water, with over 35 inches falling annually here, essentially allowing us to dry farm and extract exceptional flavor from this gold country terroir. Temperatures fluctuate up to 40 degrees with the heat from the central valley and cool nightly breezes from the mountains, most closely resembling the climates of Northern Rhône, France, and Mediterranean climates in Puglia, Italy.
One of the grapes on our estate is the Grenache “Alban” clone - John Alban, one of the famous “Rhône Rangers” was the pioneer of Rhône varietals in California, establishing his vineyard in Edna Valley of San Luis Obispo. We chose this clone for its small berry size and intense aroma and flavor, not to mention Alban’s award-winning wines. It is planted on the top block of our upper hillside on trellis wires in soil that is characterized as slightly acidic, clay and decomposed granite, low limestone and good exposure to heat – ideal growing conditions for this grape.
Old Vine Primitivo – Planted in 2003 at a time when Primitivo was new to California, this “Italian Zinfandel” is lighter, less dense and ripens more evenly in our local climate. Our Primitivo grows head-trained on our lower hillside block, dry farmed on deep rooted special rootstock to extract maximum flavors and minerality from this terroir. We make award-winning red Primitivo, Rosé and Sparkling Primitivo from these grapes.