The elevation at the entrance to our Ranch is 400 feet. As the property runs northward towards the neighboring mountain range, it rises gently to an elevation of well over 1000 feet. The soil at the higher elevations is a mix of basalt (volcanic ash compacted for millions of years) and a gravel deposit that was once the bed of a stream lifted up by volcanic activity. That geological history has produced a rocky, south-facing hillside with well-drained soil -- perfect conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon. In some areas, the hill is at a 45-degree slope, making the planting of vines both tricky and time consuming. It took almost three years to complete the planting. We selected a rootstock that is compatible with the dry and rocky growing conditions; for budding, we obtained budwood from the old Inglenook Winery plantings. The result is a textbook hillside vineyard, closely spaced on a steep, southern exposure. The crop is kept naturally small, the budwood insures that the grapes are intensely flavorful, and our certified organic farming sees to it that the finished wine is produced as naturally as possible. We named this vineyard parcel ÂME after our three children, Alexandra, Michael and Elizabeth. In French, ÂME means ‘SOUL’.