The Old Mill Vineyard
In 1998, the first block of this vineyard was planted to Cabernet Sauvignon (1 acre), Merlot (.75 acre), and Zinfandel (.5 acre). The soil is a well drained silt loam, with moderate inherent vigor. A divided Lyre trellis system was installed to open the canopy and allow for more air flow and sunlight into the fruit zone. This system also protects the grape bunches from the direct afternoon sun. The Zinfandel is head pruned and grown on its own roots.
In 1999, we added 3.5 acres of Syrah along with a small block of Viognier to blend with the Syrah. We chose the Syrah Noir clone for its loose clusters and smaller berries. This clonal selection produces a very “inky” wine with high extract, and tannin. As with the rest of our vineyards, the Old Mill is farmed organically. Irrigation is applied minimally, (only in periods of extreme heat or in the case of severe vine stress. The Old Mill is a wind tunnel in the afternoons during late spring and summer, which decreases berry size and reduces disease pressure. Bunch thinning is done at verasion in order to maximize fruit quality and ripeness. Yields typically average 3.5 tons per acre.
This vineyard, named after our daughter, was planted the year she was born in 2003. Even though it is small (1.8 acres), it is a very well exposed, sloping ampatheater. The rocky, well drained, reddish brown clay soil seamed an ideal match for Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah. These vines were planted on their own roots, which we believe gives the best varietal expression. We will receive our first bits of fruit in 2005. A small amount of Zinfandel was also added in 2004.
Reed’s vineyard, named after our son, (3.7 acres) is an ideal sight for Syrah, of which 3 acres are devoted. It is an extremely, rocky slope with excellent drainage and deep, mineral laden soil. It’s 60-70 percent pure shale rock mixed with clay loam soil. The rocks retain heat from the day, which helps fruit ripen in cooler years as well as reducing the potential for frost damage in the spring and fall. Our Syrah vineyards are planted to various clonal selections. The majority of this vineyard is planted to the Syrah Noir selection, as well as the Estrella River selection from Paso Robles. We are also experimenting with clone 877 as well as the ENTAV INRA clones; 470, and 383. The rest of Reed’s is planted to Zinfandel (1/2 acre) and small amounts of Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Our winery building is perched at the top of this vineyard and boasts an incredible view of the Klamath River valley.