Approximately 100 acre parcel, (40.91 acres planted): 25.6 acres Cabernet Sauvignon, 5.12 acres Chardonnay, 3.18 acres Cabernet Franc, 2.10 acres Syrah, 1.77 acres Merlot, 1.54 acres Semillon, 1.06 acres Sauvignon Blanc, 0.54 acres Viogner.
Soil Type: Hillside: Hambright-Rock / Valley floor: Yolo Loam and Forward Loam
Cooperage: French Oak
The rigorous vineyard program begins with the soil. The Chardonnay vineyards are now more than three decades old and were planted on the forward loam valley floor. The red varietals; Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, are all planted in shallow soil on the rocky hillside; one vineyard benefits from an eastern exposure, the other a western. The fruit for the Pinot Noir comes from the Carneros appellation in the cooler Southern part of the Napa Valley better suited for growing this varietal.
Throughout the growing season the vines are carefully monitored. Shoot positioning and leaf thinning done in June keeps foliage up and away from the fruit, this provides the proper ratio of sun to clusters, insuring ripeness at harvest. Cluster thinning reduces the overall tonnage to 2 to 2.75 tons per acre (half the normal average), this is done to concentrate flavor and complexity.
The decision to harvest is based on testing for pH and sugar balance and tasting for ripe flavors. The house-style requires ripe fruit, usually picked at 24.5 and 25 Brix. The grapes are hand picked at night and triple-sorted early in the cool morning. The fruit is put into 30lb. trays so that it will not be crushed under its own weight. Within an hour after picking the white grapes are gently whole cluster pressed to minimize skin contact, which reduces the harsh phenolics. The red varietals are de-stemmed, triple-sorted and lightly crushed so that 60% of the whole cluster berries remain intact.