AVA: Russian River Valley
Planted Acres: 74
Pinot Noir Clones: UDC#13, Swan, 667, 777, 828, 887 and Pommard
Varieties Sourced: Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer
The Floodgate vineyard spans 74 acres of rolling hills and flatland adjacent to Mark West Creek on the south end of the Middle Reach section of the Russian River Valley AVA. This region is home to the appellation’s most prestigious Pinot Noir vineyards and is a source for Cartograph Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer.
Though considered the warmer part of this cool appellation, frequent fog and daily cool ocean breezes define this location and create the perfect environment to grow premium fruit that thrives in cool climates.
There are two primary soil types at Floodgate. The Pinot Noir is planted primarily on the hillsides and these rocky soils allow excellent drainage and ensure the vines are low in vigor, allowing the vine’s energy to focus on ripening grapes rather than growing excess foliage. The Gewürztraminer is planted on the flats in loam that is very light, and has a high percentage of river gravel. This also allows for excellent drainage. These vines see very little irrigation, again keeping vigor low.
AVA: Mendocino Ridge
Planted Acres: 8 in 2 separate blocks
Clones: Dijon clones 667, 777
Vines planted: 2004
Varieties Sourced: Pinot Noir
All vineyards in the Mendocino Ridge AVA must be above 1,200 feet in elevation, and Perli sits at just under 1,800 feet, seven miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The vineyard is situated on a steep mountain slope in remote Mendocino County in northern California. The vineyard is split between two Dijon clones of Pinot Noir, the 667 and 777 clones..
The cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean and the 1,800 foot elevation create very unique growing conditions in the Perli Vineyard. Being above the fog line, the fruit is exposed to full sunlight all day long and the elevation limits the extreme swings in temperature you often get on the valley floor below. The extreme slope and southern exposure provide good frost protection, as well as sun for these vines to ripen fruit before the rainy season starts in fall.
The steep slope of the rocky soils in the Perli Vineyard are shallow and vines struggle to get a good footing in this extreme location for grap growing.
AVA: Sonoma Coast
Planted Acres: 140 in 37 separate blocks
Clones: Dijon clones 115, 667, 777, 828 and Pommard Clone
Vines planted: 2002-2005
Varieties Sourced: Pinot Noir
Split Rock Vineyard is perched on the western slope of Sonoma Mountain near Petaluma, California in an area where significant new plantings of cool climate grapes have been recently planted by vineyardists seeking optimum conditions for cool climate grapes such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah.
From the top of this vineyard (840’ feet above sea level) you can see for 17 miles directly west out to the Pacific coastal range where there is a notable gap in the hills that allows the daily ocean breezes and fog to flow briskly and freely into this area. For this reason, this unique growing area is called the Petaluma Gap. Split Rock Vineyard sits on the edge of a natural bowl that traps the fog rolling in from the ocean. These breezes and the cool climate they create conspire to slow ripening, especially during the crucial late season time frame when flavor development is critical.
The rocky soils at Split Rock are primarily Goulding Cobbley Loam. This extremely rocky soil and sloping vineyards are very well drained. And the high-density planting (over 2000 vines/acre) provides yet another factor to balance out the vines vigor and fruit yield.
AVA: Sonoma Coast
Planted Acres: 10
Clones: Dijon clones 115, 667, 777, and Pommard Clone
Vines planted: 2001
Varieties Sources: Pinot Noir
In 2001 Mike and Teela Ridgeway planted this ten-acre vineyard just west of Petaluma, California a little over ten miles west of the Pacific Ocean. The region is known as the Petaluma Gap and has quickly become renown as a prime location for cool climate grapes such as Pinot Noir.
At this location a dip in the coastal range allows the fog and wind to come howling towards the vineyard with a vengeance. So strong is the wind that that the vines had to be planted to conform to the swirling wind patterns on the property to avoid damage to the vines. The temperatures here in the Petaluma Gap region of the Sonoma Coast AVA can be a good 15 degrees cooler than vineyards just a few miles away. Pinot Noir loves this cool, bracing weather, which slows ripening and allows maximum flavors to develop—a trait wines made from this vineyard show with their remarkable layers of complexity.
Because the water table below the Two Pisces Vineyard is so deep, vines here develop very deep root systems into the earth, resulting in a greater array and complexity of flavors. Water is so precious here that in most years, it must be trucked in to help the vines survive after the spring rains end and summer heat takes over. Vines are kept on the edge of optimal hydration, leading to reduced yields and extraordinarily expressive fruit and wines.