Planting pinot noir
After Ron purchased the property in 1999, he hired a firm to test the soil in the middle 24 acres of the property where the vineyard would eventually be planted. He dug trenches at 18 locations exposing soils at two feet, four feet, and six feet deep. Taking soil samples for laboratory testing at all 3 depth levels at all 18 locations, they analyzed the samples and produced a comprehensive soil map using a GPS system. The tests revealed the soil chemistry, including nutrients, pH value, and water saturation levels. All of this information was integral in the determination of what rootstock and clonal material would be best for making the highest quality wines.
When Ron finally made the decision to plant the vineyard, he sought out expert advice on what to plant. Given the location of the estate in the Petaluma Gap AVA, and the soil analysis conducted earlier, he knew that Pinot Noir should grow well here. After consulting with numerous winemakers, Ron decided on growing five Pinot Noir Clones: 115, 667, 777, 828 and Pommard 4. He chose these high quality clones for their full bodied, silky textures combined with rich aromatics which embodies the perfect glass of Pinot Noir.