Liquid Amber is simply an anomaly. The first time we walked into the vines, it was very difficult to take the vineyard seriously. When the owner of the property purchased the home 10+ years ago, neither him and his wife knew what these gnarled, sea-creature likes vines were. It wasn’t until the spring time, that the grapevines were identified as pre-prohibition varieties Alicante Bouschet and Valdigue vines. Once part of a larger old vine field blended vineyard, only 16 old vines survived the neighborhood urban sprawl. What highlights this site is that these vines are tapped into an underwater aquifer at the edge of an alluvial slide from the base of Sonoma Mountain. We spray these vines once a year, otherwise, they take care of themselves. With an average yield of 500-1000 pounds, the wines are fresh, vibrant, and tantalizingly fragrant. And redefine the quality of a forgotten grape variety in Sonoma Valley.
Hooley vineyard is a small 3/4 acre hobby vineyard planted 16 years ago to Petite Sirah and Syrah. What makes this site so unique is the vineyard co-mingles within the garden surrounding the hillside property. Rose bushes, fruit trees, olive trees, citrus , live oaks, native hillside fauna make up what we treasure the most...a living system. In 2016, Rande had an opportunity to rehabilitate the vineyard. Vines were looked at as individual plants and pruined appropriately. With plenty of material to pruin in 2017, our experiment in natural, no spray, non-intervention farming was practiced. Every year since farming this site, we have doubled the yield. Grapes were picked at physiological ripeness, fermented with ambient yeast, and aged in a mixture of barrel and California made Amphora. Zero sulfites were added to this wine. We respect this site and its ability to provide a wine rival to the finest in Sonoma Valley.
The hunter ranch is a 80 acre property once known as the smallest champagne house in the west. Planted to vineyard in the early 1970’s to mostly Chardonnay and Pinot, the last surviving vineyard block on the property is surprisingly, 6 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. It also happens to be one of the most breath taking properties in the Valley. Nestled between Hooker Creek and Jack London State Park, this prized location is a wildlife corridor for an abundance of animals. During bud break a herd of young deer decimated the crop and it was safe to say that close to 80% was gone. After a handshake deal to tidy up the ranch, we hand harvested whatever remained for Rosé. We are honored to continue the long standing tradition of winemaking from this property and wish to do so if the opportunity presents itself again.
Dunbar Ranch is located in the heart of Sonoma Valley just north of Glen Ellen. Known only to local farmers as the Glen Ellen moguls, this vineyard site sits atop some of the most complex soil series I have seen in the valley. Similar to the rocky fields of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, round river rocks and sandy loam give way to deeply rooted vines which show incredible minerality, depth, refinement and concentration. The 2 acres of vines we purchase fruit comes from a portion planted intentionally as a field blend: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignan, and Alicante Bouschet. We are incredibly lucky to use fruit from such an unknown vineyard source and fortunate to produce an iconic rendition of a classic Sonoma Valley Blend.