Miramonte Vineyard in Temecula, CA
The Big Shift to Rhones ...
Back in 2001, we were some of the earliest pioneers of migrating our region to focus on what are broadly referred to as Rhone grapes varieties. Generally, this meant Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault, along with some lesser known blending varieties. Our famed Estate Syrah vineyard, for example, was planted to Merlot when we first bought it. But we replanted it to Syrah --- Entav clones 383 & 470, respectively. And our equally impressive Grenache Noir blocks are planted to TCVS-D, and TCVS-C. These plantings, and others in the region, marked big shifts of direction for Temecula winemakers.
A Broader View: Spain & Portugal
Since then, we've broadened our view (or focused it?) even further. Since 2008, we've studied, planted and worked enthusiastically with the grapes thought of traditionally as Spanish and Portuguese varieties. Grapes like Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, Albarino and Verdelho grow extremely well here in Temecula, and they now play central roles in our program. A smattering of lesser known but equally interesting varieties (Macabeo/Viura, Torrontes, Xarello, and the northern Italian Teroldego) play supportive roles in our blends. Rootstocks are generally 1103P or 110-14 Mgt.
To plant and manage our various vineyards, we work closely with Southern California’s premier vineyard manager, Ben Drake.
Gardening. Not farming.
Our vineyard management practices are perhaps best thought of as gardening, rather than farming. The goal in the vineyard is to grow grapes which show consistent concentration, depth of character, and intensity, year-after-year. We typically plant our vines in 9x5 or 9x6 spaced rows (806 vines/acre or 968 vines/acre). Each vine is carefully managed, yields are extremely limited, and we farm for a very careful sense of balance. We feel this best allows us to capture the purest Southern California expression of each variety.