The vineyard is on a slope varying between 10-20%, with the dominant
orientation facing south-east and the most inclined area facing due
south. Soils are typical of much of the Sierra Foothills soils (successive layers of sandy loam, sandy clay-loam,
Andrea & Jacques pruning vineyard
a clay hard pan
followed by more clay-loam). Ripping was required to break
the hard pan and improve drainage.
season heat summation is similar to Sonoma's and to the north
of Napa's, although
a bit warmer in the summer and
a bit cooler at the start/end
of the growing season
(April-Nov), mainly due to cooler mountain nights. Day-night
are between 40-50°F, which is very favorable to grape growing, preventing premature
loss of acid as in hotter regions. The main weather challenge can be a
spring heat wave promoting bud break, followed by a late spring freeze, killing
buds of early budding varieties (mainly white grapes), which can reduce crop
loads appreciably (see below for frost protection measures).
is heavy during the winter (~ 50 in.), it is almost non-existent during the growing
season, requiring drip irrigation.