(415)902-3468    scott@waxwingwines.com    111 Industrial Rd, #8, Belmont, CA 94002
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Spring Hill Vineyard/Sonoma Coast/Petaluma Gap
2010 was our first vintage working with Karen and Chris London of
Spring Hill Ranch and Vineyard.  Their vineyard is a west-facing hillside,
sandy loam site tucked between Petaluma and the northern tip of Point
Reyes.  Right in the center of the Petalum Gap, it is cool and windy
during the growing season.  It is so windy, the Londons have found that
leaf pulling in the fruit zone isn't necessary; the wind shreds the
canopy enough to get dappled light on the fruit.  On a perfect day (for
growing Pinot Noir) the temperature reaches the high 70s or low 80s
with fog at night.  There are currently 20 acres planted with Swan, 115,
Pommard, 2A, 667, 777, Calera clones.  The vines were planted in 2001,
2002 and 2003.  The Londons run Scottish Highland Beef cattle on their
adjacent acreage and farm the grapes primarily by themselves
composting and hand-pulling weeds.

Lester Family Vineyard/Santa Cruz Mountains
Lester is a classic cold-climate location, with sandy, loamy soil.  The
sandy soils are a result of the region's origin as a sea bed; geological
activity associated with the San Andreas Fault pushed up the seabed,
forming successive marine terraces (this is how the Santa Cruz
Mountains were formed).  The vineyard's cold climate is due to heavy
marine influence - it lies at about 600ft elevation, and is only 2-3 miles
from the Pacific, so it gets plenty of fog during the summer.  Although
the fog can bring challenges in reaching full ripeness in colder years, the
marine influence allows for the slow and even grape development that
makes cool-climate Pinot (and Syrah) so desirable.  Lester is managed by
Prudy Foxx.  Prudy is well known in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, and
her care and attention really show at this site. The vineyard is nearly
dry farmed, being watered at most 2-3 times during the year, and then
only for 4-6 hours.  This strict watering regime has remained in place
throughout the recent drought, a remarkable feat not matched by many
other sites.  The deep (30+ ft) root systems of the vines (planted in
1998) and the uniformity of the sandy, loamy soils certainly help.  
Although not certified organic, this site has never seen herbicides of
any kind, and the winter cover crop (usually barley and bell beans)
slowly turns golden as summer progresses.  The quality of this site and
Prudy's careful farming really came out in my first two Lester vintages.
The 2012 Pinot Noir (94 pts) and 2013 Pinot Noir (94 pts) both quickly
sold out.

Flocchini Vineyard/Sonoma Coast/Petaluma Gap
Scott got a call from a fellow winemaker during the harvest of 2008.  His
friend knew of a promising Syrah vineyard, in the Sonoma Coast
appellation, that still had fruit to sell.  After talking with the Flocchinis
we jumped at the chance and took a ton of their Syrah grapes, clones
Noir and 877.  The Flocchini family had traditionally run dairy cows on
the property but planted a portion of their property to grapes in 2002.  
The Petaluma Gap growing region is fast becoming known for producing
balanced, delicious cool climate Syrah.  The vineyard is located along
Old Lakeville Road   Number 3, southeast of Petaluma.  The block I take
is on a gentle west facing slope above the Petaluma River.  Flocchini
uses stored surface water to irrigate during the growing season and
with the current drought it has been hit or miss with collecting enough
water during the wet season.  

Tondré Grapefield/Santa Lucia Highlands
The vineyard is located in the Santa Lucia Highlands.  SLH is known
more for Pinot Noir but the cool, coastal influence from Monterrey Bay
is ideal for Riesling (and Syrah!), too.  Owner Joe Alarid planted the
Riesling vines in 2006 just as other growers were pulling out large blocks
of Riesling from the AVA.  He has 104 acres total in vines and just 3
acres of Riesling.  Elevation is 360 to 400 ft above the dry Arroyo Seco
riverbed and the soil is chualar sandy loam.  The vineyard received just
4 inches of rain during the 2013/2014 wet season (average for the site is
12 inches) so Joe had to use his drip irrigation system during the
growing season for our 2014 Tondré Riesling.  His water comes from
wells on his property and he feels the water table in the area is being
used sustainably.  He planted the vine rows in a north-south
orientation to get more even sun exposure on both sides of the vines
(traditionally the rows have mostly gone east-west in SLH vineyards).  
After bloom he opens up the canopy with leaf pulling around the fruit
zone and tends to drop fruit after veraison to lighten the crop load and
we pick the fruit between 21 and 22 Brix and greater than 3.00 pH.