You may be surprised to find that there are over 100 vineyards
in Lamorinda. We find it is very appealing to make wine from grapes
grown in Lamorinda, our local community. And it is a great place
to grow them. Our temperature profile compares very favorably with
some of the best winegrowing areas of Napa and Sonoma. Further,
with our hilly terrain, Lamorinda vineyards are typically on hillsides
for good drainage, a trait favorable to wine quality. The Lamorinda
Wine Growers Association filed an application in 2013 to have Lamorinda
be recognized as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) due to its
unique climate, topography and geology. The application has been
approved and Lamorinda is now an official AVA. It may be until end-summer
2016 or later before it appears on labels due to the logistics of
getting government label approvals and labels printed for bottles
that have not yet been labeled.
We work closely with several local growers each year who are
also interested in making the best wine possible. This leads to
practices that favor quality as we work in partnership to make
incremental improvements in the vineyard and learn how each vineyard
responds in the cellar.
This, our largest vineyard partner, produces Cabernet Sauvignon,
Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese just outside Moraga, within the new
Lamorinda AVA. On a steep hill side with a moderately cool temperature
profile, these well balanced, low yielding vines produce great color
and depth of flavor.
Mary Leigh's Vineyard
Mary Leigh's sloping vineyard produces Chardonnay, Sangiovese
and Syrah. Located in Moraga, a cooler portion of Lamorinda, it
is perfect for Chardonnay and a bit on the cool side for the reds.
The result has been award winning wines. The Chardonnays have been
well structured with a great balance of fruit and acid. Reds have
produced excellent depth in warmer years and more nuanced wines
in cooler years.
Jon is Mary Leigh's neighbor. The vines are close enough that
if you took down the fence it would look like one vineyard. It should
come as no surprise, then, that Jon's vineyard has also produced
award-winning wines. We are very glad to have his Sangiovese, Merlot
and Chardonnay back with us after a few years of absence.
This is our only vineyard not from Lamorinda. We couldn't help ourselves.
Scott Cattell grows Pinot Noir in a special area of the Russian River Valley known as the "Golden Triangle".
Here, in addition to the cool climate near Forestville, is a patch of fine, well drained "Goldridge" soil. Scott's
grapes yield aromatic wines with wonderful fruit and depth. We know you will excuse us for straying from Lamorinda just this once.
This steep hillside vineyard in Moraga grows Merlot, Syrah and Pinot
Noir. Yields on this vineyard are low and the fruit is concentrated.
This is our first year making wine from this vineyard and we are
excited to have them in the fold.
This is another steep hillside vineyard (do you see a pattern?)
with a twist. This is the only Lamorinda vineyard we are aware of
with rocky volcanic soil. Facing cool Lost Valley and the Oakland
hills, it was dumped on eons ago when Round Top volcano (Oakland
hills) in Sibley Park erupted. As a result, the vines struggle to
produce wonderful Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Primitivo and a tiny amount
of Viognier fruit. We are excited to be making
wine from here in the Fall.