Vineyards

EXCEPTIONAL WINE COMES FROM EXCEPTIONAL GRAPES

It’s been great working with Patrick at Two Mountain and  Andrew at Elephant Mountain.  Over the years I’ve watched them turn their vineyards into producers of world-class wine grapes.

Keith Rolle

Keith Rolle

Winemaker

Washington is second only to California in wine production in the United States and some of its vineyards are among the world’s most highly regarded. The Rattlesnake Hills is a sub-AVA of the Yakima Valley AVA and has an optimum climate for wine grape production.

During the summer months, the vineyards of eastern Washington receive as much as two hours more sunshine than the vineyards of California. This extended exposure to sunlight, coupled with crisp, cool nights translates into near perfect conditions for developing wines that combine ripe fruit flavors with bright, refreshing acidity.

History of the Soil

About 15 million years ago molten basalt spewed from fissures in Eastern Washington and Western Idaho. This area became to be what is known as the Columbia plateau.

At the end of the last ice age, around 15,000 years ago giant ice dams formed near what is now the Montana-Idaho border. The dams broke and the icy flood water from Lake Missoula carried along deposits from boulders to silt en route toward the Pacific Ocean. These repeated cataclysmic floods are known as the Missoula floods.

Easterly-blowing winds then lifted these deposits from western Oregon and Washington back to what is now the Yakima Valley.

Copeland Vineyard

Zillah, WA (Rattlesnake Hills of the Yakima Valley AVA)

Management: Two Mountain Winery, Owner. Patrick Rawn, Vineyard Manager
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Blaufränkisch (Lemberger)
Canopy Management: VSP trellis, bi-lateral cordon, 8×4 spacing
Elevation: 1237 ft.
Aspect: South facing gentle slope. Cabernet Sauvignon has a Western exposure. Blaufränkisch has a very slight Eastern exposure.
Rainfall: Less than 7″ annually
Soils: Primarily thin Burke silt loam soil on top of sandy gravel. A portion of the Cabernet Sauvignon is Esquatzel silt loam soil on the same sandy gravel sub strata. There are very slight variations, but generally has about 8” of soil.

Dineen Vineyard

Zillah, WA (Rattlesnake Hills of the Yakima Valley AVA)

Management: Pat Dineen, Owner. Patrick Rawn, Vineyard Manager
Grapes: Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec
Canopy Management: VSP trellis, bi-lateral cordon, 8×4 and 8×5 spacing
Elevation: 1050–1140 ft
Aspect: South facing gentle slope
Rainfall: Less than 7″ annually
Soil: Harwood-Burke-Wiehl silt loam and Scoon silt loam with an abundance of stones in areas. Soils are shallow with depths of 8–24″. There is a good deal of Caliche (calcium carbonate) underneath at various depths. Soils are nitrogen deficient with very low vigor and maintain a pH around 7.3.

Elephant Mountain Vineyard

Moxee, WA (Rattlesnake Hills of the Yakima Valley AVA)

Management: Joe Hattrup, Owner. Andrew Schultz, Vineyard Manager
Grapes: Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvedre
Canopy Management: VSP trellis, bi-lateral cordon, 6×9 spacing, 807 plants per acre.
Elevation: 1320 to 1460 ft
Aspect:  South facing gentle slope
Rainfall: Less than 7″ annually
Soil: Harwood-Burke-Wiehl very stony silt loams, 15 to 40 percent slopes with depths of 20” to 40.”

Its been a honor to work with Doug Leisz over the years. To many he is considered the godfather of viticulture in El Dorado County. Joel Skylar can always be counted on to grow consistent quality Barbera year after year.

Keith Rolle

Keith Rolle

Winemaker

Originating back to the gold rush days, the first grapes were planted in the 1850s, as a lot of wine was needed to quench the thirst of the Forty-Niner population that migrated to the state at this time.
The El Dorado AVA is comprised of rugged, mountainous terroir. The thin, austere soils of the region are ideal for Zinfandel; but Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Barbera, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Fair Play AVA is a hill-top sub-region of Sierra Foothills Wine Country. The AVA has relatively fertile soil compared to other grape growing regions in the Sierra Foothills. But this is balanced by the wine region’s extremely high elevation and cool, windy climate.

Arrastra Vineyard

Placerville, CA (El Dorado of the Sierra Foothills AVA)

Management: Douglas Leisz, Owner and Manager
Grapes:
Charbono, Aglianico
Canopy Management: VSP trellis, quadra-lateral cordon, 7×11 spacing, 535 plants per acre.
Elevation: 2400 to 2500 ft
Aspect:  Southwest slope
Rainfall: 32 in. annual average
Soil: Rocky Boomer-Sites soil with slate outcrops and some quartz. Depth of 4 ft.

J and J Vineyard

Fairplay CA (Fair Play of the Sierra Foothills AVA)

Management: Joel Skylar, Owner and Manager
Grapes:
Barbera
Canopy Management: VSP trellis, bi-lateral cordon, 6×10 spacing, 725 plants per acre.
Elevation: 2200 ft.
Aspect:  True South Slope
Rainfall: 35 in. annual average
Soil: Holland Series sandy loam with decomposed granite. Depth of 31 to 42 inches.