The 20 acres of vines on this Contra Costa County ranch near Oakley yielded only 16 tons of grapes in 2002, by far the smallest yield of any vineyard we harvested that year. The 100 year old vines are dry farmed in soil that is nearly pure sand, conditions that exist in only a handful of vineyards in the world. The old head-pruned vines struggle to produce a crop that would be laughably small to most grape growers but is a source of great pride to Rich Pato, whose family has worked the land here for most of the last century. Not surprisingly, given the low yield, the wine is dark and intense, with plenty of concentration; it displays flavors of coffee, allspice and cherry. Our natural winemaking practices exaggerate the length of fermentation, bringing out all that the grapes have to give. The result is a wine that is both powerful and rich, but with an attractive rustic earthiness.
1,335 cases produced.