Presqu'ile VineyardSanta Maria, Central Coast, CA
Total Vineyard Acreage: 72.7
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay
In the ribbon of land between the Pacific Ocean and the central coasts’ San Rafael Mountains, ancient sand dunes and Santa Maria’s exceptionally long growing season allow the flavors and characteristics of grapes to be fully realized.
Deep, sandy soils devoid of nutrients, along with diverse sun exposures, contribute to ideal conditions for growing Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay grapes. A particularly steep temperature gradient between the coast and the coastal mountains creates a narrow zone with the perfect balance of cool marine breezes and California heat.
Vineyard manager, Jim Stollberg, winemaker Dieter Cronje and Matt Murphy have worked hand-in-hand to accentuate the diversity within the site. They began by mapping the site's distinct airflows, patterns of sunlight, hillside angles and elevations. Benefiting from a clean slate, they planned the vineyards to be sure that each grape variety was planted in multiple locations, row directions and spacing, on multiple clones and rootstocks, to maximize distinctions. The result is a winemaker's dream – a treasure trove of individuality from which to craft truly unique blends or small lot bottling’s.
Tondre VineyardSanta Lucia Highlands, Central Coast, CA
Total Vineyard Acreage: 100
Varietal: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Tondre Grapefield was planted in 1997 on six and half acres in the heart of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation. Several of the leading Pinot Noir clones are planted to ensure that there is a medley of fruit and sufficient Tondre pedigree character to suit vintner stylistic preferences. These clones are pruned to hang two clusters per shoot with an average thirteen shoots per vine which yield three and a half tons per acre of ripe and distinctive Pinot Noir grapes.
Among pundits of Pinot Noir, “terroir” is most often referenced for flavor, aromas and overall grape quality from viticulture and historic influences. Vignerons have established the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation as one of the crown jewels of California viticulture for Pinot Noir grapes. This distinguished appellation has protruding southeast facing slopes, strong maritime influences from Monterey Bay and ancient glacial soils consisting of decomposed granite, gravel and sandy loam.
This is the regions terroir affording grapes an extended “Hang Time”. This means more sunlight on the vine and more even ripening, with sufficient cool-down in the evening to firm up the grapes natural acidity. As a result, grapes have an intense expression of deep fruit flavors gaining complexity and nuance from the deep vine penetration of the sunlight.
The importance and interdependence of combining grower and vintner is omnipresent for wine quality assurance and protection of a vineyard designation vintage by vintage. Vignerons globally have known this for centuries. With this old and new world wine acumen, Tondre chose carefully a cluster of vignerons to ensure that Pinot Noir made from the Tondre Grapefields’ are among the premier wines of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation.
Stolpman VineyardBallard Canyon, Central Coast, CA
Total Vineyard Acreage: 153
Stolpman Vineyards lies on three major limestone ridgelines in Santa Barbara County. By implementing revolutionary viticultural techniques, the vines are pushed to unprecedented levels of quality. The 300 foot deep slab of white, porous limestone produces a strong minerality and leaves an acidic effect on the wines that has made the Stolpman Syrah world famous. The first blocks of Stolpman Syrah were planted in 1992 and 1994. These oldest vines create a concentrated Syrah with a firm structure built for aging.
La Encantada VineyardSta. Rita Hills AVA, Central Coast, CA
Total Vineyard Acreage: 100
Varietal: Pinot Noir
The La Encantada Vineyard is one of coolest growing sites in the Sta. Rita Hills. It is planted on a ridge that straddles the Santa Ynez River Valley and experiences the full impact of the cool afternoon ocean breezes. Planted in 2000, it consists of 96 acres of Pinot Noir. It benefits from strong winds, morning fog and sunny days. These conditions provide a long, cool growing season averaging 30 to 45 days longer than many of California's wine growing areas. This allows for a longer 'hang time' and more intense and complex flavors. La Encantada Pinot Noir features aromas of cranberry, cherry, and pomegranate and on the palate features layers of flavors, focused tannins, and balanced acidity.
Beckstoffer Georges III VineyardNapa Valley, CA
Total Vineyard Acreage: 300
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Historical records show that a portion of this vineyard was planted in 1895 by Mrs. Thomas Rutherford. This 300-acre parcel first purchased by Beaulieu founder Georges de Latour in 1928 and called Beaulieu Vineyard Number 3, was the home to BV’s Rutherford Cabernets made by the renowned winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff. These wines achieved wide acclaim in the 1960’s and 70’s, establishing BV’s pre-eminence in the making of fine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Purchased by Beckstoffer Vineyards in 1988, the vineyard has since been replanted using new Cabernet Sauvignon clones with tighter spacing and advanced trellising systems, enhancing both quality and grape tonnage. In 2009, 181 acres were placed under a land conservation easement that forever prohibits non-agricultural development.The vineyard is located adjacent to the Caymus Winery between Conn Creek Road and Silverado Trail in Rutherford, which is within the Rutherford AVA. The vineyard’s proximity to Conn Creek and the well-draining soils of the old creek bed combine with spectacular, western exposure to produce wines of richness and pedigree.
Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper VineyardOakville, Napa Valley, CA
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon,
Crouse VineyardMt. Veeder, Napa Valley, CA
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
The vineyard is located on an 80 acre parcel in the heart of the premium Mount Veeder Appellation in the Napa Valley. One of the most distinctive characteristics of this region, and the grapes produced, is the altitude at which they are farm, between 1,000-1,600 feet above sea level.
Mount Veeder is a rugged appellation that encompasses 25 square miles of some of the steepest vineyards in California. Winemaking in the region dates back to the 1860s and by the late 1800s, the mountain hosted at least 20 vineyards and six wineries.
Pioneers who cultivated vineyards on Mount Veeder knew there was something special about wines from these steep slopes. Winemakers across the Napa Valley began to recognize that grapes from Mount Veeder and other mountain appellations had an intensity and depth unlike grapes from the valley floor. Above the fog bank, exposed to the gentle morning sun and protected from the afternoon heat by the surrounding mountains, grapes on these vines ripen slowly and evenly. In autumn, the mountain's cool days and warm nights mean extra hang time. Powerful and distinct, mountain grapes challenged the winemaker to tame their rugged tannins and reveal a deeper character.
Mountain grapes soon became the backbone of many of Napa Valley’s best wines because of their structure and concentrated flavors. Its Cabs are intensely flavored because the climatic and soil conditions in steeply sloped vineyards produce abnormally small berries. In flavor and texture, the profile of a mountain wine is different. It is more difficult to produce; rare and limited in supply, but undeniably captivating, charismatic and long-lived.