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Scaggs Vineyard Montage 2007
Blend: 52% Mourvedre, 32% Grenache, 16% Syrah
We'd come to love the Rhone wines of France, particularly those of the Southern Rhone, and explored the possibility of planting more Rhone varietals on our hillside. Research indicated they'd be a good match for our climate and the soils in our hills, so in addition to the newly planted syrah, we chose mourvedre and grenache cuttings from Tablas Creek, whose clones came from the esteemed Beaucastel Vineyard in Chateaneuf-du-Pape. And we imbibed a good deal of the Beaucastel philosophy, too: minimal intervention in winemaking to allow for maximum expression of terroir, that evocative French concept whose meaning encompasses the earth, air, water and soul of a place. From the start we were committed to sustainable farming practices-- our steep hillsides and narrow vine rows committed us to farming by hand—and under the guidance of Bob Schaeffer, co-founder of Soil Culture Consulting, the vineyard was certified organic by California’s CCOF in 2006.
We made our first wine in 2000 and have experimented over the years, testing techniques and blends, learning more about our grapes, our soil, our preferences. Each harvest has a story to tell, to be continued.
A major force on the global playing field, California is the world’s fourth largest wine-producing region on the planet and the majority of land under vine here is devoted to red varieties—they cover nearly double the vineyard acreage compared to whites.
While the state’s incredibly diverse terrain and microclimates allow for countless red wine styles, the one factor unifying all California red wine is the abundance of sunshine and a long, consistent growing season, which leads to well-developed and fully ripened fruit.
Sonoma County, nestled between Napa Valley and the Pacific Ocean, claims great variability in geography and microclimates with vineyards climbing up mountains, reaching far into valleys and stretching along some the state’s most dramatic coastlines. Here world-class Pinot Noir is possible from Sonoma’s cooler sites while Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon do well in its warmer locations.
Winemaking in California dates back to the 18th century when Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes. But the industry experienced its first boom with the Gold Rush in the last half of the 19th century when miners brought vines to the Sierra Foothills.