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Bedrock Vineyard Sonoma Valley AVA

“One thing about old, head-trained vineyards: If they could survive two world wars and Prohibition without being turned into prunes or houses, it means they’re really good sites.”

Diane Kenworthy Vineyard Manager at Bedrock Vineyard

Originally planted in 1854 by Generals William “Tecumseh” Sherman and General “Fightin’ Joe” Hooker, Bedrock has grown grapes for over 150 years. In all likelihood, at some point in Bedrock's long history, sparkling wine was made from the vineyard's grapes. Out of the 24 old vine varieties grown at Bedrock Vineyard today we chose to use Zinfandel. It is a grape that is not only decidedly Californian but also surprisingly well built for sparkling wine. Bedrock Vineyard’s ancient Zinfandel tends towards both great flavor development at low sugars and strong natural acidity, both of which are fundamental to great sparkling wine. The vines are head trained, grown in rock studded red Tuscan loam soils, and farmed sustainably.

Brosseau Vineyard Chalone

“Organic isn’t an end-all. It’s a framework to make the site as genuine as possible, so that when people taste the wine they say, ‘That’s the Brosseau vineyard."

Bill Brosseau

If excellence is to be found in extremity than Brosseau Vineyard portends great things. Perched high above theSalinas Valley in the shadow of the Pinnacles National Park, the Brosseau vineyard lies in the remote Chalone AVA. Despite the lack of neighbors, Brosseau grows some of the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the state. Owned and founded by Jan and Jon Brosseau and organically farmed by their son Bill, the vineyard epitomizes the saying ‘beautiful vineyard, beautiful wine’. The vineyard is planted on a super sexy mix of limestone and granite in perpetual decomposition, as if the Cote d'Or married Beaujolais. A labor of love since 1980 the property has been developed into an amazing ranch; one at which we love to stay the night before picks to catch a killer sunrise as grapes are harvested under lights.

Brosseau has a special place for us as it was the first vineyard we worked with for our sparkling journey. Our foundling idea started after tasting the still wines that Bedrock Wine Co. made in 2009 and 2010 from the vineyard. Realizing the incredible flavor development at low sugars and low pH we thought it could be an excellent place for sparkling wine. The first wines produced from the vineyard are staggering, showing off the limestone and granite minerality and a savory umami character that is Brosseau's signature.

Alder Springs Mendocino County California

“That’s what I love about California: Nobody decides for you – you decide what you want to do.”

Stuart Bewley

In terms of sheer wildness few vineyards in the world compare to Alder Springs. Closer to Humboldt County than any vineyard in Mendocino, Stuart Bewley, following his own divining rod decided to plant in a wilderness no one had ever thought could grow grapes. Despite the constant issues of wild pigs, bears pushing over rows, and discovering that irrigation has been utilized by another cash-crop, Alder Springs has become one of the greatest vineyards in California. Spreading over 140 acres, with 85 separate blocks and a dizzying array of rootstock and variety/clone combinations the vineyard is a true reflection of the maniacal drive the owner. What we love about Stuart is that he is not someone who claims to have the answers, far from it. He embraces the process of learning and improving everything about his vineyard, whether it be the vines themselves or his impact on the surrounding ecosystem. All the while, he continuously/tirelessly works to produce something unique and delicious.

Currently, we work with Alder Springs’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from which we fashion a white and a rose’. In typical Stu fashion he jumped at our idea of growing some Pinot Meunier for us, so we will welcome a third variety from the phenomenal vineyard in a few years.

You can read the amazing David Darlington grower profile piece on Stuart Bewley at Bedrock Wine Co.

Hirsch Fort Ross-Seaview AVA, Sonoma Coast, California

“We gave up trying to master it. We just sort of settled in and got comfortable with the uncertainty and the complexity.”

David Hirsch

A vineyard that needs no introduction. Planted three miles from the Pacific Ocean on the extreme Sonoma Coast, David Hirsch’s opus is a jewel in the crown of California.Originally planted in 1980, almost every great Pinot maker in California has at one time worked with this California Grand Cru. Calling Hirsch ‘one vineyard’ sells the property short. With many individual blocks, each on its own unique soil, David is constantly trying to hone a deeper understanding of a vineyard he has farmed for over 30 years. Throw in the extreme weather conditions, the many microclimates, and the constant rumbles and shifts from the San Andreas fault a mile away and you have found a vineyard literally on the cutting edge. Sounds perfect to us. We hope we can add to the sparkle that already defines this vineyard.

You can read the amazing David Darlington grower profile piece on Stuart Bewley at Bedrock Wine Co.

Chuy Vineyard Sonoma Valley

Though we only got to work with Chuy Vineyard for two vintages, we couldn’t be happier that we got to capture the remarkable site in a bottle filled with bubbles. Planted in the early 1970s by legendary Sonoma vineyard manager Chu Ordaz, this vineyard captured both the great site but also a viticultural world where widely spaced, dry-farmed vines were the norm rather than the exception.

Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Carneros

The origin story of modern sparkling wine in California runs straight through the Carneros winegrowing region. And no one can talk about the Sonoma Carneros without mentioning its most prominent and important growing family- the Sangiacomos. In fact, when the Sangiacomo family first converted from orchard growers to grape growers (the great pear crash was no joke), some of their earliest buyers were the first big sparkling wine houses. We felt it fitting that as a sparkling wine project dedicated to showcasing California terroir that we work with some fruit from this archetypal vineyard. Though Sangiacomo Vineyard is actually a lot of different vineyards we decided to work with a unique block that was planted in 1982 known as “Catarina’s.” Not only do the old vines produce dynamic and wonderful fruit, they are also located on the other side of the creek from the original Ravenswood winery, where Morgan would take time off from making Pinot Noir and criticizing Zinfandel to play among the vines.

Oakville Farmhouse Oakville

Sparkling wine from a tiny block of white grapes located at Oakville’s oldest remaining vineyard? Yes please.

Located below Promontory, Harlan and Futo and just down the road from To Kalon, Oakville Farmhouse is a a vineyard that can take you back to the days before Cabernet took over the Napa landscape. Planted in the 1930s, the vineyard is mostly composed of a mixed red field blend that we bottled under the Bedrock Wine Co. label. But at its southwestern edge grows a tiny ¼-acre parcel of mixed white varieties. The block consists primarily of French Colombard and Chenin Blanc with a touch of Semillon, Malvasia Bianca and Muscadelle. With only a few hundred bottles produced, the Oakville Farmhouse sparkling wine is one of the rarest wines we ever make.

Heron Lake Vineyard Wild Horse Valley

Nestled at 1500’ elevation, Heron Lake is/was located in Napa’s well-kept secret, the Wild Horse Valley AVA. Sadly, we only got to work with this vineyard for two years before fire and pathogens claimed its lovely vines. 

When we were walking the vineyard, we saw the mix of quartz, granite, and feldspar soils that are perfectly situated to benefit from the cooling breezes of the San Pablo Bay. I hope one day the vineyard will be re-developed, and we’ll be back. But for now, I am going to treasure the wine we do have from this vineyard from a corner of California that few know.