There are two types of soils found in our vineyard, they are known as GAZOS and SANTA LUCIA soils (or a combination of the two). Both soil types consist of a mixture of fractured shale and clay loam. The soils are moderately deep and drain well resultant from shale that has weathered over years. The soil pH ranges from a low of 5.1 to a high of 6.4. The lower pH numbers are from the higher elevations that consist of a greater percentage of the fractured shale with less of the clay loam soils. The higher pH soils are in the lower elevations and consist of higher concentrations of deep clay loam soils.
The 20-acre vineyard is predominantly comprised of hill sides with south-facing slopes. This orientation is preferable due to the maximum sun exposure for the vines. The lower vineyard blocks are at 900 feet above sea level and range up to 1200 feet at the highest blocks. Being located within the Templeton Gap area, the vineyard faces significant swings in day and night temperatures with as much as 40 degree variations. This allows the fruit to hold onto its acidity as long as possible during the long, warm growing season.
We take a sustainable approach to farming our vineyard and follow the guidelines set forth by the leading sustainable farming organization in our area, Vineyard Team. We follow their mission statement by using “environmentally safe, viticulturally and economically sustainable farming methods, while maintaining or improving quality and flavor of wine grapes.” All reasonable practices are incorporated to minimize unnecessary pesticide and fertilizer use. Pesticides are only applied when absolutely necessary to solve or prevent an outbreak that could have a damaging effect on the vines or fruit. Our water management practices incorporate drip irrigation that allows us to deliver the specific amount of water each vine needs directly to the vine rooting zone. Our respect for the land also includes erosion control. We incorporate a permanent cover crop of native grasses and flowers in the vine rows and roads. We also try to avoid any soil tilling to minimize loss of loose soils in rain events. (More info on sustainable farming can be found at www.vineyardteam.org/resources/sustainableag.php)
The 20-acres of vineyards are planted to the following varieties:
|Syrah - Clone 174||Syrah - Clone Alban-1||Primitivo - Clone 3|
|Syrah - Clone 877||Grenache - Clone 369||Tempranillo - Clone 770|
|Syrah - Clone Estrella||Petite Sirah - Clone 3||Viognier - Clone 642|
|Syrah - Clone 383||Mourvedre - Clone 369||Rousanne - Clone 467|
|Syrah - Clone 470|
Our 20-acre vineyard is located in the Templeton Gap region of Paso Robles where severe swings in the daily temperature bring out the best in our grapes. The daytime highs during the summer growing season are met by cool marine air from the west through gaps in the San Lucia mountain range in the late afternoon and early evening hours. The daytime temperatures between May and September can often reach into the upper nineties but in the evening drop into the forties. Fifty degree temperature swings between day and night are not uncommon. The hot days allow for full grape maturation while the very cool nights allow the vines and fruit to recover from the stress of warm days. This also allows the fruit to maintain some if its desired acid levels. Although generally still a warm growing region, the evening cooling effects separate our Templeton Gap microclimate from many of the others in the Paso Robles viticulture area which on average are hotter. Rainfall in our vineyard and the greater Templeton Gap region historically averages between fifteen and twenty inches per year.