Estate Vineyard

Steep hillsides, rocky soils, moderate temperatures, windy afternoons and foggy nights make for an estate vineyard terroir ideally suited to producing exceptional wines.

Our estate is situated on Lookout Ridge, which divides the Boulder Creek and San Lorenzo Valley drainages. Looking southeast, you can see the summit of Loma Prieta. To the southwest is Eagle Rock, above Big Basin Redwood State Park. 

The microclimatic differences between the top and bottom of the vineyard are significant, with cooler air settling quickly to the lower elevations at day’s end. During the summer months, winds coming in from the Pacific cool the vineyard in the afternoons.

The Estate Vineyards, primarily southwest facing, consist of 10 acres of grape vines nestled within 150 acres of redwood forest.

Around the vineyard, deer, fox, bobcats and mountain lions can be found. Within the vineyard are quail, alligator lizards, rattlesnakes, vultures, and red tail hawks, along with a variety of other airborne and burrowing animals.

Tuscan and French varieties of olive trees, planted at the top and bottom of the vineyard, are harvested each year for our estate olive oil which we offer for sale to our wine club members and visitors.

Vineyard Details

Appellation
Santa Cruz Mountains

flowering grape cluster

Rattlesnake Rock

Our terraced hillside estate vineyards are challenging and strenuous to farm organically, but we think the special character of the fruit makes the effort well worth it.

All vineyard work is done lovingly by hand to ensure that the grapes we grow represent the fullest expression of the vineyard and vintage. We use field selections represent the old way vines were propagated—by taking cuttings from a greatly respected vineyard to plant a new vineyard. 

Balance is key. We prune, thin shoots, and drop fruit to avoid excessive canopy growth and overcropping. We harvest when the stems are fully lignified so that we can utilize whole clusters in our fermentations without imparting astringency or excess tannin to the wine. And in our high rainfall region, we maintain a cover crop in the vineyard to hold the soil.

We use relatively little water to farm the estate.  We irrigate only 2 to 3 times per year — before, after, and once during the growing cycle, if needed. During one of these waterings, we inject organic fertilizer into the system to help keep the vines healthy.

Homestead BlockS

Our property was settled by pioneers in the 1880s, inspiring the name for this block, planted just above the site of the original homestead. It is broken up into the three sub-blocks listed below.

Rocky Block & Boulder Block

  • Varieties: Pinot Noir
  • Budwood: Pinot Noir Clone 37 “Mt. Eden”
  • Soil Type: fractured mudstone and sandstone with clay loams
  • Elevation: 1,300 feet
  • Spacing: 5′ x 3′ and 8′ x 3′
  • Exposure: south
  • Year Planted: 2007; budded to Pinot in 2014

42 Terraces Block

  • Variety: Syrah
  • Budwood: Alban Power Block field selection
  • Soil Type: fractured mudstone and sandstone with clay loams
  • Elevation: 1,300-1,350 feet
  • Spacing: 8′ x 3′
  • Exposure: west and southwest
  • Year Planted: 2007

Homestead Block

  • Grenache, Roussanne
  • Budwood: Alban Grenache and Roussanne field selections
  • Soil Type: fractured mudstone and sandstone with clay loams
  • Elevation: 1,250-1,350 feet
  • Spacing: 8′ x 3′ and 8′ x 4′
  • Exposure: West and southwest
  • Year Planted: 2007

Rattlesnake Rock BLOCK

The first of the old vineyard blocks to be re-developed, and the basis for our first Estate Syrah. A special Côte-Rôtie field selection (clone) from John Alban makes up the majority of the block. This selection is known as “Serine” in the Rhône Valley and is famous for its lavender and violet aromatics

  • Varieties: Syrah, Viognier, Pinot Noir
  • Budwood:
    Alban Syrah “Côte-Rôtie” selection
    Alban Syrah “Baby Block” selection
    Alban “The Knolls Viognier” selection
    Pinot Noir Clone 122
    Pinot Noir Chambertin Clone
  • Soil Type: fractured mudstone, sandstone and clay loams
  • Elevation: 1,300-1,400 feet
  • Exposure: south/southwest
  • Spacing: 8 x 4
  • Year Planted: 2000, with additional plantings and replants over the years

Old Corral Block

The Old Corral block is on the other side of the ridge and faces southeast.

  • Varieties: Pinot Noir
  • Budwood: Pinot Noir Clone “Swan”
  • Soil Type: fractured mudstone and sandstone
  • Elevation: 1,300-1,400 feet
  • Spacing: 8′ x 3′
  • Exposure: south/southeast
  • Year Planted: 2006, budded to Pinot Noir in 2014

Wines from Estate Vineyard

Big Basin Intro Gift Pack

Big Basin Intro Gift Pack

Give the gift of discovery with this pack that invites every recipient to fall in love with Big Basin Vineyards. Featuring favorites from our Estate Vineyard: 2017 Homestead Block Roussanne, 2016 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a branded wine key, this is the perfect way to introduce a new wine enthusiast to great wine. ($190 value.)

3 pack $155
Library Estate Syrah Vertical Gift Pack

Library Estate Syrah Vertical Gift Pack

Our Frenchie's Ranch Syrah is only made in exceptional vintages from our most distinct and expressive barrels. This vertical of 2012, 2013 & 2014 allows you to follow Frenchie's evolution over time and enjoy each bottle in its prime. ($365 value.)

3 pack $315
Estate Reds Gift Pack

Estate Reds Gift Pack

Our Estate Vineyard is our pride and joy, and although it took some punches this year (who of us didn't?) we still revel in the character and quality of the wines we produce from these steep and rocky slopes. We've put this pack together to showcase two of our staff favorites from our Estate Vineyard: 2016 Old Corral Pinot Noir and 2015 Sixty-Two Terraces Syrah. ($165 value.)

2 pack $140
2014 Frenchie's Ranch Syrah

2014 Frenchie's Ranch Syrah

Our Estate Syrah Reserve, only made in exceptional vintages from of our most distinct and expressive barrels which undergo extended barrel aging. 145 cases produced.

750ml $95
1500mL $200
2019 Estate Olive Oil 375mL

2019 Estate Olive Oil 375mL

Our 2019 Estate Olive Oil is from dry farmed, Certified Organic Tuscan olive varietals that naturally thrive in the rocky, arid soils around our Estate Vineyard. The tiny olives were hand-picked and then cold pressed on a stone mill at a historic olive processing facility. The resulting oil is unctuous in texture with an increasingly spicy and lingering finish. Each bottle is 375ml in size. Enjoy case discounts on 6 pack bottle purchase. (25% Club, 10% NonClub) There are no state legal restrictions on shipping olive oil.

375ml $24
6-pack $144
2016 Grizzly Grenache

2016 Grizzly Grenache

100% Grenache from our Certified Organic Estate Vineyard. 160 cases produced.

750ml $55
1500ml $110
2018 Brokentop Ranch Viognier

2018 Brokentop Ranch Viognier

Estate grown Viognier from an ocean-view ridge top near Happy Valley. Floral and mineral driven with a distinctly old world feel. 30 cases produced.

Sold Out: Club Member Release Exclusive. Join our wine club to get priority access to the next release.

2016 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah

2016 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah

An Estate Syrah produced from our oldest block of vines planted in 2000 to a Cote Rotie selection of Syrah. Our vineyard is Certified Organic by CCOF. 220 cases produced.

750ml $55
1500ml $119 Sold Out  
2016 Sixty-Two Terraces Syrah

2016 Sixty-Two Terraces Syrah

An Estate Syrah produced from sixty-two terraces of low yielding vines and a western aspect. Two field selections make up this cuvée - the Alban 'Power Block' Syrah and the Alban 'Baby Block' Syrah. Our vineyard is Certified Organic by CCOF. 120 cases produced.

750ml $55
1500ml $119 Sold Out  
2017 Homestead Block Roussanne

2017 Homestead Block Roussanne

Our single acre of Certified Organic Estate Roussanne is unique in the Santa Cruz Mountains and produces of wine of exceptional finesse, floral aromatics and body. 135 cases produced. 91 Points- Antonio Galloni, Vinous

750ml $48
1500ml $109 Sold Out  
2017 Old Corral Pinot Noir

2017 Old Corral Pinot Noir

The Old Corral Pinot is sourced from our Certified Organic Estate Vineyard. Three separate hillside blocks are used to produce this wine with one planted to Swan clone and the others planted to Mt. Eden clone.
140 cases produced.

750ml $65
1500ml $139
2017 Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah

2017 Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah

Our Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah is sourced primarily from our Estate Vineyard, which is certified organic and very steep and rocky. 98% Syrah & 2% Viognier 420 cases produced.

750ml $36
2017 Brokentop Ranch Viognier

2017 Brokentop Ranch Viognier

Estate grown Viognier from an ocean-view ridge top near Happy Valley. Floral and mineral driven with a distinctly old world feel. 30 cases produced.

Sold Out: Club Member Release Exclusive. Join our wine club to get priority access to the next release.

2015 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah

2015 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah

An Estate Syrah produced from our oldest block of vines planted in 2000 to a Cote Rotie selection of Syrah. Our vineyard is Certified Organic by CCOF. 225 cases produced. 93+ Points- Antonio Galloni, Vinous. 93 Points- Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast. 93 Points- Jeb Dunnuck

750ml $60
2015 Sixty-Two Terraces Syrah

2015 Sixty-Two Terraces Syrah

An Estate Syrah produced from sixty-two terraces of low yielding vines. Two field selections make up this cuvée - the Alban 'Power Block' Syrah and the Alban 'Baby Block' Syrah. Our vineyard is Certified Organic by CCOF. 225 cases produced. 92+ Points, Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points, Matt Kettman, Wine Enthusiast.

750ml $60
2016 Old Corral Pinot Noir

2016 Old Corral Pinot Noir

The Old Corral Pinot is sourced from our Certified Organic Estate Vineyard. Three separate hillside blocks are used to produce this wine with one planted to Swan clone and the other planted to Mt. Eden clone. 205 cases produced. 205 Points-Antonio Galloni, Vinous 92+ Points- Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points- Rusty Gaffney, PinotFile

750ml $70
2014 Grizzly Grenache

2014 Grizzly Grenache

100% Grenache from our Certified Organic Estate Vineyard. 220 cases produced. 91 Points- Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast

750ml $65
2014 Old Corral Syrah

2014 Old Corral Syrah

An Estate Syrah produced from the steeply terraced Old Corral & Homestead blocks planted in 2006 & 2007 respectively to a very low yielding selection of Syrah. 225 cases produced. 93 Points- Antonio Galloni, Vinous

750ml $65
2015 Homestead Block Roussanne

2015 Homestead Block Roussanne

Our single acre of Certified Organic Estate Roussanne is unique in the Santa Cruz Mountains and produces of wine of exceptional finesse, floral aromatics and body. 135 cases produced. 91 Points- Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Sold Out: Join our wine club to get priority access to the next release.

2014 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah

2014 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah

An Estate Syrah produced from our oldest block of vines planted in 2000 to a Cote Rotie selection of Syrah. Our vineyard is Certified Organic by CCOF. 225 cases produced. 93 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous. 93 Points, Jeb Dunnuck

750ml $65
2013 Frenchie's Ranch Syrah

2013 Frenchie's Ranch Syrah

Our Estate Syrah Reserve, only made in exceptional vintages from of our most distinct and expressive barrels which undergo extended aging. 89 cases produced.

Club Member Exclusive: Log In to See Your Personal Allocation.

2013 Grizzly Grenache

2013 Grizzly Grenache

LIBRARY VINTAGE: LIMITED AVAILABILITY. 100% Grenache from our Certified Organic Estate Vineyard. 220 cases produced.

750ml $70 Sold Out  
2015 Grizzly Grenache

2015 Grizzly Grenache

100% Grenache from our Certified Organic Estate Vineyard. 85 cases produced.

Sold Out: Club Member Release Exclusive. Join our wine club to get priority access to the next release.

1500ml $129 Sold Out  
2013 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah

2013 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah

LIBRARY VINTAGE: LIMITED AVAILABILITY. An Estate Syrah produced from our oldest block of vines planted in 2000 to a Cote Rotie selection of Syrah. Our vineyard is Certified Organic by CCOF. 275 cases produced.

750ml $70
2013 Old Corral Syrah

2013 Old Corral Syrah

LIBRARY VINTAGE: LIMITED AVAILABILITY. An Estate Syrah produced from the steeply terraced Old Corral & Homestead blocks planted in 2006 & 2007 respectively to a very low yielding selection of Syrah. 225 cases produced.

750ml $70

Vineyard Sources