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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.
Begun in 1992 by Bruce and Barbara Neyers and their winemaking partner, Ehren Jordan, Neyers Vineyards produces 15,000 cases of wine annually. They rely primarily on Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the Neyers' 50-acre Conn Valley ranch farmed by Hugo and Lupe Maldonado. Additioanl grapes are purchased from a select group of growers, several of which are...Read More About Neyers
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard...Read More About Napa Valley
Zinfandel the American - or Californian - grape. Although it's not from America
(Croatia has been named its origin),
it does seem quite at home in the vineyards of California.
During Prohibition, many
Zinfandel vines survived as the high-yielding grape was popular both for home winemaking and communion wine, which is...Read More About Zinfandel
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