Casa Verde is a magical vineyard lying on the same bench as Niemi in Redwood Valley, though the alluvial soil here is Yokayo Series. Peter Chevalier farms these 70 year old, head pruned, dry farmed vines traditionally with cross cultivation. Amongst the ten acres of field blended red grapes lie 230 French Colombard vines, planted intermittently. The red grapes are a mix of Carignane, Grenache, and an as yet unidentified variety.
The Lolonis Vineyards are a stunning throwback, in the best possible ways. It’s an authentic working farm employing the same vineyard practices first adopted when it was planted in the 1940s by Frank Lolonis; wide spacing, cross cultivation, organic farming and no irrigation. It lies at the southern end of Redwood Valley on an upheaved alluvial bench. The soil series is Yokayo. New owners, Denise Poulos, Frank’s granddaughter, and her husband Athan Poulos, are keeping it in the family
The beautiful head pruned Sémillon vines are interplanted amongst black grapes in a block in the heart of the vineyard.
My beautiful wife Kathleen has Sicilian roots (maiden name Giglio) and we’d often thought that if we were to make a white wine it should be of Roman (or at least Greco-Roman) origin. We were thinking of a dry Muscat. To quote Jancis Robinson in Vine Grapes and Wines, Muscat, as a variety, rates as “very good quality, not at all modish”. Right up my alley.
Nube Bianco is planted to, among other things, true Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains (France), also known as Moscato Bianco (Italy), the best of the Muscats for dry wine production. The vineyard lies on the east side of Potter Valley, southwest facing. The soil series is Yokayo.
Niemi Vineyard sits on a bench in the heart of Redwood Valley near the headwaters of the Russian River. The alluvial soil is predominantly Red Vine series. Alvin Tollini farms his Grandfather’s land with great care, intuition and a consciousness that is both modern and respectful of the past. Our two head-pruned blocks are farmed traditionally with cross cultivation and hand hoeing at the base of the vines.
The Petite Sirah is a youngish block planted in 1998. It was reared without irrigation and took a full seven growing seasons to produce its first commercial crop in 2005, our first vintage. It continues to be dry farmed.
Our block of Carignane was planted in 1966 and can be considered Old Vine. It too is dry farmed.