The harvest of 2011 had a cool wet spring and cool summer providing moderate growing conditions and a crop size small enough to take advantage of the cool weather. About mid-October a series of storms that usually stay in Washington State and Oregon decided on a not so small excursion to Northern California. These early rains made for a challenging harvest but the dedication of growers to wait for grapes to dry out coupled with the winemaking team going around the clock when the weather was good, resulted in some really nice wines. The colors are dark, rivaling the 2010 vintage, flavors are luscious and tannins moderate.
When the world was young, the birds held a contest to select their king. The one to ?y highest would wear the crown. They climbed until only the mighty eagle remained, except for the clever wren hidden in his plumage. When the eagle tired, the wren took ?ight, and upon his return was proclaimed king. To this day, the birds gather amongst the old vines to celebrate in the knowledge that ingenuity triumphs over strength.
Some of the most important decisions we make each year are in the vineyard. The quality of fruit that we grow and buy from other Amador vineyards defines the wines that we ultimately produce. Our estate vineyard is located on the hills behind the winery and is predominantly planted with the Grandpère® clone of Zinfandel in both head trained and trellised vines. The slope of the vineyard has shallow soils with good drainage which is optimal for Zinfandel. We also grow Petite Sirah, Mourvedrè, Barbera and Alicante, which can be found in some of our Grandpère® Zinfandel blends. We analyze each block of land and plant and grow the varietal best suited to the conditions of that block. Within a single acre we sometimes locate several varietals to optimize growing conditions and foster the flavors and tastes that define our wines.