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

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

Vineyard Sources