Vineyard & Varietal Information
Our Home Vineyard is just off the back patio of our guest house and is a little under four of our 600 estate acres. While four acres may seem small, the Home Vineyard hits a home run with every vintage. The acreage is the only thing small about it, as this vineyard produces truly memorable, intensely jammy Zinfandel with luscious body and the softest touch of silky tannin. Zinfandel so special, we are willing to do quite a bit more work from vine to the glass. Zinfandel as a varietal has made a name for itself as an uneven ripener. The berries on the crown of the cluster tend to ripen earlier being closer to the nutrient source of the plant and more exposed to the sun than the berries on the bottom of the cluster. When we ferment the clusters, the higher sugars from the top and the low sugar from the bottom balance each other out beautifully. The Home Vineyard acts like a microcosm of the Zinfandel varietal. The vineyard is surrounded by majestic protected valley oak trees with deep roots that cause the vines on the perimeter to compete for nutrients and water.
The grapes are crushed into half ton macrobins and left with their skins for a full ten days of fermentation. Four times a day the solid cap of skins is punched down by hand to maximize extraction from skins while minimizing extraction from harsh seed tannins. Each lot was fermented separately, then pressed into American small oak barrels (30% new). The individual lots aged for 12 months before being blended for bottling.
The 2008 Home Vineyard Zinfandel has a decadent nose, rich with raspberry, cinnamon, peppery currants and spice. Ripe fruit and nicely spiced flavors settle into soft, subtle, silky tannins. The richness of this wine beautifully balances duck, roasted rabbit, or game hen paired with grilled vegetables.
Amador County CA is located in the Sierra Foothills AVA. Like so many of the vineyards in California, after prohibition Amador lied dormant until the 1960's. The soils in Amador are in the present day, Amador stands out against its neighboring regions by growing grapes in a lower elevation. All though this flat region cools down at night, the lower elevation accounts for more heat during the day, and thus riper fruit. 75 % of the grapes planted in Amador are zinfandel, and is the variety Amador gains reputation from. The Amador Zinfandel is distinctive, with high alcohol, fruity or jammy tastes, with a briar smell. Besides Zinfandel, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc do very well.