A Shared Vision
To capture all the complexity of our vineyards, we farm our land organically with close attention to the myriad details that contribute to flavors in the ripening grape. We have found from experience that the most intensely flavored grapes come from vines whose size and vigor are naturally limited to producing very small clusters. For us, this means growing grapes in sites with the optimal combination of soil, sun, and weather. Both our vineyardsStone Edge and Mount Pisgahshare ideal growing conditions for growing such vines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon grapes: rocky, highly permeable soils, extended warm summers with limited rainfall, and cool, foggy coastal mornings. We live with our vines and witness daily how the principles of sustainable farming are core to the health of our land and singularly shape our wines.
Wines that Reflect the Vineyard
We strive to produce wines that communicate the natural beauty of our vineyards. Our grapes contain considerable tannin structure that encourages development of a silky complexity. We look for deep red color, a rich sweet sensation on the palate, and complex flavors and aromas that are a marriage of grape and oak barrel. Our wines are a pleasure to drink young, and will continue to improve in softness and subtlety as they age in the bottle.
Our winemaking techniques are informed by classic, European traditions. We hand-sort our grapes before they enter the de-stemmer and sort them again after de-stemming to remove any unwanted material. We prefer numerous, small hand-mixed fermentations in order to bring out the best of each vineyard block, and to increase the complexity of the final blend. We press each fermentation batch in a hydraulic basket press, gently separating the wine from skins and seeds without extracting harsh components. Our wine is aged in French oak barrels for 20 to 30 months and during the aging process we rack our wines several times to provide the small doses of air needed for maturation.
Stone Edge Farm and Mount Pisgah vineyards are certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Through organic farming, we are able to build a vibrant, living soil that nurtures deeply-rooted vines bearing highly concentrated fruit. We avoid using refined chemical fertilizers that act on the plants like drugs, over-stimulating, then stressing the vines. Our small, but healthy vines naturally resist attacks by insects, eliminating the need for artificial insecticides that tend to kill the good with the bad, disrupting nature’s balance. Local predators lend a hand as spiders, wasps, birds and bats devour the insects, while hawks, owls, bobcats, and coyotes consume rodents. Our low-input practices encourage biodiversity and maintain a natural balance in our vineyard.
Guided by Hand and Nature
Our vines are all head-trained and cane-pruned, a practice that, in addition to increasing resistance to pests, produces small berries with exceptionally intense flavors. We maintain optimal vine canopy by hand, with numerous passes through the vineyard, positioning shoots, and removing unwanted leaves, shoots, and berries. As our grapes ripen, they are tasted and tested until we are sure they are ready to make the best wine possible.