Howell Mountain – Cabernet Sauvignon
Our Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown in a single vineyard, just off Ink Grade Road near Angwin, in the Vaca Range on Napa Valley’s northeast side.
Howell Mountain is the original and oldest AVA of Napa Valley and is renowned for magnificent and complex wines with elegance and robust complexity. Howell Mountain’s vineyards are above 1,400 feet elevation and currently only 600 acres of grapes are grown in the appellation’s 14,000 total acres. The elevation is actually the reason that the grapes thrive here – the temperature is actually more moderate and above the fog level creating lots of sunshine, but cooled by the Pacific Breezes. The lack of fog helps to ripen these Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
It is an exclusive appellation with rugged terraced vineyards, roughed in between wild forested tracts of mountain. The 23 year old vineyard has such steep terraces that it is almost impossible to walk! It is tucked away in the forest and remains a hidden jewel. The soil in our vineyard is well drained, volcanic in origin and water retention is poor, producing scraggly vines with low vigor and deep roots.
Dry Creek Valley - Zinfandel
Our Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel grapes are grown on the bench lands at 900 feet elevation, just above the valley floor, on West Dry Creek Road. The grapes are grown in a single vineyard in the warmer northern end of the valley - about halfway between the foot of Warm Springs Dam and Healdsburg.
Dry Creek Valley is located in the northern part of Sonoma County and it runs from just south of Healdsburg to just north of Geyserville and spreads west from these towns. The Valley is long and the northern end is hot - great for red grapes! The very southern end extends down to the cooler Russian River AVA, where Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir grapes are grown. The valley is influenced by fog in the southern end, but in the northern end, the fog burns off by 9AM and the grapes thrive in the warm mountain air.
Dry Creek is a tributary of the Russian River and, in 1983, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finished the dam on Dry Creek, creating Lake Sonoma.
Monterey County – Pinot Noir
Our Monterey County Pinot Noir grapes are grown on the bench lands near the Santa Lucia Highlands. This single vineyard hugs the west side of the Salinas Valley and benefits from the microclimate that shelters it from the daily strong winds of Monterey Bay. The vineyard does benefit from the cool maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean as the cooling winds allow for extended hang time, resulting in optimum flavor development.
Monterey County is located on the California coast south of San Francisco. It is centered mostly in the 84 mile long Salinas Valley. The very northern end of the AVA is cool climate, ideal for Chardonnay and Riesling, and the AVA gets progressively warmer, heading south along HWY 101.
Mendocino County - PortentousTM
The Mendocino County appellation is part of the large North Coast AVA that spreads northward from San Francisco Bay. Mendocino County is very remote and mostly wilderness, only 2% populated, and an area of discovery for many wine buffs. The AVA is vast and supports many climates throughout this area, ranging from the cool region of Anderson Valley to much warmer interior regions.
Our Petite Sirah vineyard grows at 1,100 feet elevation on the Talmage Bench near Ukiah. It is grown on rich, well drained red vine soil and the 30 year old vines bask in the warm, but moderate climate that elevation offers.
“Islands in the Sky", as most locals call it, is a more romantic and appropriate name for the Mendocino Ridge AVA. Adjacent to the Pacific, the lower areas of coastal Mendocino County are regularly blanketed with a cooling fog, except for the ridges. These non-contiguous peaks rise from clouds of fog, seemingly like islands, bringing uninterrupted sunshine to the scattering of tiny vineyards nestled among Redwood and Douglas fir trees.
The region covers more than a quarter-million acres of mountainous land, but only about one-third of this is above the 1,200-foot fog line, the minimum elevation at which land is included within this appellation. Of this eligible land, only a minute fraction is suitable for grape cultivation - just 75 acres of the entire viticultural area is planted, with Zinfandel being the local specialty. A few of these ridge-top vineyards were initially planted in the late 1800’s and the legacy of the early Italian mountain vignerons is honored today, as Mendocino Ridge is recognized for producing some of the very best, most distinctive Zinfandel anywhere.
Our Zinfandel vineyard grows at 2,900 feet elevation and is just at the edge of viticultural practices. At one corner of the vineyard, you can stand on your toes and squint to see the fog sitting on top of the ocean 6 miles away. These vineyards are tended by our grower with dedication and devotion because the growing conditions can be odd, with snow in March and 100 mph winds in the winter. It is truly an application of love!
Gold Medals 100912
2010 Chardonnay – Late Harvest Botrytis – Mendocino Ridge
1. Double Gold/Best of Class West Coast ’12
2. Double Gold – SF Int’l Wine Comp '12
3. Gold - San Diego Wine Comp '12
4. Gold – US National Wine Comp '12
5. Gold – San Diego Wine Comp '11
6. Gold – Grand Harvest Awards '11
2009 Patrona – Muscat Canelli – Alexander Valley
1. BEST of CLASS – Sonoma. Co. Harvest Fair ‘12
2. Gold – Riverside Wine Com '12
3. Gold – Orange Co Fair Comp '12
4. Gold – US National Wine Comp '12
5. 91 pts The Wine Enthusiast May 2011
1. Gold – San Diego Comp '12
2007 Pinot Noir – Monterey
1. Gold – Grand Harvest Award 2011
2011 Zinfandel – Dry Creek Valley
1. Gold – Sonoma Co. Harvest Fair 2012
1. Gold – Riverside Wine Comp '12
2. Gold – US National 2012
3. Gold – Orange Co. Fair Comp '12
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon – Howell Mountain
1. Double Gold– San Diego '12
2. Best of Class – Pacific Rim '11
3. Gold – Chairman’s Award – Orange Co.'11
4. Gold - Best of Class - Pacific Rim '10
5. Gold - Best of Class - New World '09
6. Gold – Dallas Morning News '10
7. Gold – Pacific Rim '08
8. Gold – San Diego '08
9. Gold – West Coast Wine '08
10. Double Gold & Best of Class – San Francisco Wine Comp 2011
11. Gold– San Diego '12
12. Gold– New World Wine '12
13. Gold– San Francisco Chronicle '12
14. Gold – 94 points The Wine Enthusiast, May 2011
15. Gold – San Diego '11
16. Gold – SF International Wine '11
1. Gold– San Diego '12
2004 Portentous – California
1. Best of Class of California – California State Fair Wine Comp 2011
2. Chairman’s Award – Gold – Riverside Wine Comp 2011
3. Double Gold & Best of Class – LA Wine Competition 2010
4. Double Gold & Best of Class - New World Wine Competition 2010
5. GOLD – San Diego Wine Competition 2012
6. Gold – Riverside international Wine Comp 2012
7. Gold – US National Wine Competition 2012
8. Gold – SF International Wine Comp 2011
9. Gold – SF Chronicle Wine Comp 2011
10. Gold – Orange County Fair Wine Comp 2010
11. Gold - SF International Wine Competition 2010