The Brosseau Vineyard lies on craggy, steep slopes of decomposed limestone and granite at 1,600 feet above sea level in the heart of the Chalone appellation. Farmed organically, the Syrah on this iconic vineyard, planted in 1980, benefits from the high elevation and extreme diurnal shifts in temperature, which allow for slow ripening and complex aromatics.
Located in the Green Valley sub-AVA, Charles Heintz Vineyard is just outside of the town of Occidental. Two ridges in, and only about 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean, Heintz has become one of the most famous Chardonnay sites in California. The Chardonnay from this vineyard develops slowly as foggy, cool evenings slow down ripening significantly, especially at the end of the season. The soil is a classic sandy Goldridge loam. The resulting wines are prized for their layers of flavor and incredible depth, yet they also retain beautiful structural elements.
The Gap’s Crown Vineyard has established itself as one of the most coveted and high-quality sites for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in all of California. It’s extreme rolling slopes provide protection from the cold marine air that channels from the ocean through the Petaluma Wind Gap. The surrounding geography also creates a natural fog pocket around Gap’s Crown. The lingering fog that is trapped, especially towards the end of the growing season, allows the fruit to ripen slowly, developing sugar and phenolic ripeness in unison.
Wind is the defining element at Grand Vent (“big wind” in French). The vineyard sits at the mouth of the break in the coastal mountains, which funnel marine air into the Petaluma Gap. The combination of cool climate, fog, and wind leads to a particularly long growing season, creating a wine with precision and structure to complement spice and black fruits.
Gravenstein is located in Sebastopol Hills, known for its rolling, hilly terrain at moderate elevation with small parcel sizes (nooks, crannies, lumps, and bumps). Historically, the area was planted to apple orchards, which have gradually transitioned to vineyards over the past few decades. Planted to 100% Calera clone, this block of the Gravenstein Vineyard has iron-rich Goldridge soils that produce wines full of dark fruit and structure. As a bonus, the 100+-year-old apple orchard adjacent to the vineyard provides a perfect snack break.
This remarkable site planted by the Dutton family in 2007 is located just outside of Occidental in west Sonoma County. Jentoft’s Pinot Noir vines are on both northern and southern sides (Calera clone on the south, and Swan clone on the north face), perched on a steep high elevation hill. The slopes are pure sandstone bedrock with a very shallow layer of Goldridge soil on top. Deep roots, thick fog, and a prolonged and steady growing season are hallmarks of Jentoft.
Located in the heart of Carneros on a west-facing slope lies Las Brisas Vineyard (“the Breezes” in Spanish), the preeminent vineyard of Vermentino in the U.S. Daily morning fog is followed by cooling breezes from the San Pablo Bay. It’s owned by the esteemed Mohoney family, early pioneers and dedicated growers of Vermentino in California.
Our six-acre Marine Layer vineyard sits on a southwest-facing slope in the Sebastopol Hills. We selected our favorite clone of Chardonnay, Wente, for a a one-acre block in the northeast corner of the plot for our Chardonnay and the rest is planted to our favorite clones of Pinot Noir – Calera, Mt. Eden, 667, 115, and a few special suitcase selections. With unique climate factors and the illustrious sandy Goldridge soil, this vineyard captures the true essence of the Sonoma Coast.
Upp Road Vineyard, planted in 2010, is a 12-acre vineyard planted Calera and Swan clones on light, shallow sedimentary soils (Goldridge) in Green Valley. The low fertility and poor water retention of Goldridge forces vine roots to grow particularly deep, and self-limits yields to around 1.5 tons/acre. A wine of concentration and purity.
Located in the far reaches of the Sonoma Coast in Annapolis, only six miles inland from the Pacific lies the Walala vineyard. Perched on a cliff at an almost unheard of elevation of 1,200 feet and surrounded by redwoods, this vineyard is not for the faint of heart. It takes an attentive hand to farm where conditions are so remote and extreme. It’s proximity to the Pacific ocean keeps the vines cool, while the elevation above the fog provides abundant heat from the sun to ripen the grapes slowly. The name comes from the Kashaya Pomo Indian phrase, “ah kha wa la lee” which means “where the water flows down”.