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Russian River Valley
A typical day in Russian River begins with cool fog that fades by mid-morning as the warm sun transforms the vineyard into a warm, welcoming place buzzing with bees. In the late afternoon the ocean air sweeps in from the west cooling the vineyard down. Soils of clay and volcanic rock, carved into rolling hills by the Russian River, are the bass line to the melody played by the sun, wind and fog.
Balance is the key to our Cabernet. Mountain fruit with great structure and concentration is the foundation of our wine. The Cabernet is beautifully delineated and has great aromatics. It is a harmonious intersection of site driven fruit, the finest new French oak, and classic winemaking.
Proprietor’s Notes: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006
The Ritchie Vineyard is one of the most famous Chardonnay sites in Sonoma County. The vineyard was planted in the early 1970’s to a Wente clone of Chardonnay on AXR-1 rootstock. It was later discovered that AXR-1 was not phylloxera resistant and owner Kent Ritchie was told he would need to replant the vineyard. Forty years later the vineyard still produces world class fruit!
We make this wine for one reason only: because it is awesome. This vineyard has been the source of my favorite Viognier in California for many years. Viognier has a tendency to go from not quite ripe to over-ripe very quickly. There is a narrow window where the grape has developed rich flavors but retains the bright acidity that makes the wine lively and attractive.
Gap’s View Vineyard
We acquired the Gap’s View Vineyard in early 2015 and have since made many improvements in farming. Our remedial viticultural practices include: replanting a large number of dead vines, taking back positions on weaker vines, composting, pruning for fewer shoots and more moderate crop yields, and using worm tea compost as a soil pro-biotic. With these farming changes we also had the vineyard certified as sustainably farmed. Truly a labor of love, we are thrilled to have this vineyard as a component of our Sonoma Coast blend and to craft a very limited, vineyard designate wine from this site.
Sonoma Stage Vineyard
The vineyard is owned by Dick Hyde, whose family also owns the renowned Hyde Vineyard in Napa. The Sonoma Stage Vineyard is one of the coolest vineyards in Sonoma County. Positioned on the south side of Highway 116, between Sonoma and Napa, the vineyard is subject to cool winds both from San Pablo Bay to the south and the Petaluma Gap to the west.
Bennett Valley first became well known for making Merlot back when David Ramey was the winemaker at Matanzas Creek. It’s a pleasure to bring great Merlot back to Bennett Valley. The steep hillsides that are the source for our Merlot produce intense fruit with tremendous structure and concentration.