The vineyard was planted in September 2016 with Calera and 115 Pinot Noir clones. There are 7 separate blocks, each with its own irrigation zone to allow for soil variation and microclimates on the 6.91 acres.
Some areas are more rocky than others, but there is nowhere in the vineyard where soil cultivation is easy. We have had to hand dig the weeds in the vine rows, and we use weedeaters to control vegetation.
One particular knoll was dubbed “rock hill,” and we considered carefully whether to plant it at all because it was so incredibly rocky. The vineyard workers all deserve medals for the hard work of inserting the polls and trellises in a perfectly regular pattern for the vine supports.
We are located on the western facing slope of Sonoma Mountain in Sonoma County, and we are officially within the Petaluma Gap AVA. Cool breezes from Petaluma grace the hillsides, while the 1,000-foot elevation means we are above the fog in the valley on some days. In the winter, we are 10 degrees warmer than the valley floor, protecting us from frost. In the summer, we can have also warmer nights but cooler days than the valley below.
Our first harvest was on September 14, 2019 under the setting harvest moon. We harvested 1.1 tons, which resulted in 2 barrels of wine (about 45 cases), one new French oak and one neutral barrel. It was aged for about 18 months and bottled in February of 2021, for release in early 2022.
The Petaluma Gap is a new AVA in Sonoma County, established in December 2017. The area is home to many high-quality vineyards and wineries, including Kosta Brown, Jackson Family Wines, Rodney Strong and Three Sticks. Wineries that purchase Petaluma Gap fruit include Flowers, Twomey, Schramsberg and David Bruce.
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