Russian River Valley
John showed us a map of the area with an overlay of the vineyards now under his purview. He explained them one at a time detailing the specifics of each site. The last one, located far out on Burnside Road, he seemed to downplay. “It’s a stressed, older vineyard with low yields, and a late-ripening arc.” Check. Check. Check. We went there first, tried to maintain our poker faces, and negotiated a fruit contract with our boots still on the soil.
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Vineyard designate: N/A
Soil type: Goldridge
Elevation: 200 feet
Clone: Clone 95
Average age of vines: 30+ years
Unique aspect: Leaf roll virus, small yields, marginal sea-influenced climate
Sourced for: Estero, Russian River Valley Chardonnay + SoCo Chardonnay
What to expect from the wines: Racy Chardonnay with tart yellow fruit and quartz-like minerality.