Italian immigrants Maria and Gaetano Testa planted this property originally in 1912. Their great great granddaughter Maria is the current steward of this superlative ranch just north of Ukiah in Mendocino County. Outstandingly well farmed and mostly dry grown, I can honestly say that I have yet to work with more amazing red fruit on any continent. I harvest old vine Carignan, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon off of the fine alluvial sedimentary soils of the Yokayo series to come up with Boaz each year. I count myself incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to showcase this family's 100-plus year legacy of amazing farming.
Cole Ranch truly is hallowed ground. This altogether unique canyon valley tucked away high in the hills between Ukiah and Boonville was planted in the early 1970's by a gentleman named John Cole and is one of the only AVA's owned entirely by one individual. Its also officially the smallest AVA in the nation clocking in at just 189 acres (55 planted). Of those planted, 18 acres are planted to Riesling...mostly on limestone based colluvial soils and dry farmed...and eventually form “Elimelech.” At about 1500 feet up, the temperatures are cooler, the rain falls in higher quantity, and the harvest is significantly delayed, often the last fruit to arrive at the winery.
Fox Hill Vineyard
Lowell Stone had quite the vision for his wife Babara's place. As a young man, he fell head over heels for Italy, particularly the its wine culture. Finally, in the late 70's, he took to replanting Barbara's entire property, converting it over from mostly Chardonnay and Riesling to many and much more obscure Italian varieties (with a few acres of two Portuguese varieties thrown in for good measure). Today, it's a library of what one could get their hands on in the way of Italianate grapevines at the time from nurseries, friends, and the odd 'suitcased' cuttings. Fox Hill rests between Hopland and Ukiah just up from the Russian River on benchland called the Talmage Bench. Uplifted former riverbed, Fox Hill is predominantly standstone based – very rocky and pebbly, with a large amount of quartz to trip over as one is weaving one's way in and out of the vine rows that eventually find their way into Mahlon, Chilion, Feints, and Rosé.
Planted in the early 1910's, this historic site is nestled against the steep northern border of the McDowell Valley, a sub-AVA of Mendocino County. McDowell Valley sits at about 1000ft above sea level, higher than and just east of the 101 corridor and the town of Hopland. A strikingly hot upland valley, with pebbly sedimentary soils, the OG's that planted vines here chose wisely and put in some of the first Rhône varieties in California. Today Gibson is home to some of the oldest existing Syrah, Trousseau Noir, Petite Sirah and Grenache Gris in the country (that very same Grenache Gris that comprises our “Naomi” year after year).