We feel our vineyards are very special. That doesn’t make us unique in the grape growing business because we all love our dirt! We are enchanted by our vineyards because they really are nestled into the hillsides and are growing in loamy, well-drained soil that’s more rock than anything else. One of the vineyard managers suggested that we were engaging in hydroponics farming – rocks, water and roots but no soil!
We were severely restricted as to how many acres of our property we could plant because of the sloping hills that make up much of it. The first one and one-half acres that we planted soon after buying the property had been horse corrals and a riding arena and those flat surfaces had been cut into the hillsides long ago when such undertakings were not regulated or monitored. It’s a different story today and we were required to submit an erosion control plan for everything else we wanted to plant. Ultimately, we were allowed to plant another three and one-half acres when we had wanted to plant seven.
The vineyard blocks wind in, out and around our property, tucked here, there and everywhere possible. It makes for a wonderful walk starting at the top at about 300 feet above the valley floor. Separating our older blocks from the newer ones is a wildlife corridor (30 by 100 yards) that spans our property. It allows deer to move from a neighboring farm to the south across our property to a large stand of oak trees at the north end. The walk down is a relatively easy and interesting stroll but the walk back up is a definite cardio workout!
In addition to the six acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, we planted one-third of an acre of Cabernet Franc but we just recently planted it over to Sauvignon Blanc. We plan to make an estate Sauvignon Blanc to complement our rock-star red, the 100% estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Sauvignon consists of four clones and two different rootstocks. Each was chosen specifically for the block(s) where it is growing. We are very pleased with the planting decisions made by our vineyard management company, Barbour Vineyards, and the wonderful fruit that is being produced. The best news of all is that it is only going to get better!