We fervently believe the old maxim that “wine is made in the vineyard,” and consider ourselves farmers first. We carefully tailor organic viticultural practices to each vineyard — this is how we harvest healthy and fully ripe fruit with balanced levels of alcohol and acidity. We do our best to protect and enhance the natural environment in the process.
“The best fertilizer is the farmer’s footsteps.”
The Michael Mara Vineyard is west of the town of Sonoma, at the base of the Sonoma Mountain range. Our partners in the vineyard are Richard and Susan Idell, who also produce delicious wine under their own Idell Family Vineyards label (www.idellfamilyvineyards.com).
The soil is the result of a cataclysmic landslide that cascaded rocks and volcanic soil down onto the valley below. The Michael Mara Vineyard is situated on a unique lobe of rocks and red soil, creating wine with the freshness of the marine air, but lots of structure from the rocky soil, and a finish that tastes of that unmistakable rock dust. Transitional Organic.
At our home in the West Oak Knoll area of Napa we indulge our fascination with different grape varieties by growing Refosco, Cabernet Franc, Ribolla gialla, Merlot, Tocai friulano, Petit verdot, and Schioppettino. The soil is alluvium from the nearby Dry Creek. With fruit trees at the ends of the rows and flowering bushes throughout for “good bug” habitat, the vines are serenaded throughout the season by kids, coyotes, owls, bees, and the occasional roar of one of our old tractors. Certified Organic.
Nestled at the base of Mt. Veeder, overlooking the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, the Phoenix Vineyard was an unexpected bonus that came with our winery. The old vines are a loving and funky assemblage of different selections of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, all mixed up. We added to the diversity by filling in with many more vines of different historical selections. The ancient shale soil is unusual for Napa, only found in our Southwest corner of the valley, and makes finely structured wines with spicy red fruits and beautiful bright acidity.