BELLA LUNA VINEYARD
The Bella Luna Vineyard is only 1 acre in size and was planted in 2000. In 2003, our first Pinot Noir won a gold medal in the San Francisco Wine Competition. The vineyard is located on Ken and Susan Churchill's ranch on Olivet Road in the Russian River Valley. The vines are planted on 4' x 4' spacing. The Pacific Ocean's cooling coastal influence, Sebastopol Sandy Loam soil composition, and Dijon clones selections of 115, 459, 667, and 777 all work together to produce the pure fruit forward taste that the Russian River Valley is famous for.
The Leepin Vineyard is 1.25 acres in size and was planted in 1999. It is biodynamically farmed by Paul Sloan of Small Vines Viticulture. The vineyard is located in the town of Cotati in the Sonoma Coast appellation. Clones 113, 115, 667, and 777 are planted on 4' x 3.5' spacing. The biodynamic farming methods and the intimacy of the vines create remarkably high quality fruit with deep rich concentrated flavors.
The Priscilla Vineyard is located at the home of Curt and Valerie Abbott just off Guerneville Road, in Sebastopol. This 1.5 acre vineyard was planted in 1999 with a combination of clones 114, 115, 667, and 777 planted on 4' x 4' spacing and is surrounded by the famous vineyards of Tom Dehlinger and Paul Hobbs. The wines produced from this vineyard have layers of complex deep, concentrated flavors along with a beautiful mouth feel.
COOLER CLIMATE REGIONS
The Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations are both located within 20 miles of the Pacific Ocean, creating unusual and providential climate characteristics that make the regions particularly ideal for growing world-class Pinot Noir.
Each evening, fog from the Pacific Ocean rolls in, swaddling the Russian River Valley in cool temperatures which allow the grapes to ripen slowly throughout an extended growing season. The longer "hang time" promotes rich, ripe berry flavors and maintains the natural acids and soft tannins that are characteristic of all our wines.
With these benefits in mind, we selected our vineyards in part because they are located in the coolest regions of Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations.
As good stewards the land, our grape growers employ sustainable farming practices. They eliminate or reduce use of toxic chemicals and pesticides and use hand-farming methods and drip irrigation systems to conserve energy and water. To reduce waste, they compost organic materials from the vineyard and chip pruned canes instead of burning them, helping to reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions. Finally, the growers enlist nature's help against fighting unwanted pests by building insectaries alongside the vineyard and creating homes for barn owls that control the gopher population.
Precision farming incorporates specific techniques that improve grape quality. It also reduces harvest yield, but quality not quantity is our goal. Precision farming ensures that all the grapes ripen evenly. Unripe grapes cause the wine to taste bitter, and overripe, raisin-like grapes make the wine too sweet. The key to evenly ripened fruit is a well-maintained leaf canopy. Our growers manage the growth of vines by passing through the vineyard five or six times during the growing season to remove unwanted shoots and suckers, top the vines and drop fruit that is not ripening fast enough.
Minimal watering and stressing the vines keeps the berries small, resulting in the concentrate flavors of our wines.