This is one of those precious secret places in the heart of Carmel Valley that is situated just above the Carmel River on a site of rocky, sandy loam soil combined with decomposed granite on a south-facing exposure. This gem of a vineyard -–all .79 acres of it – is located only 9 miles from the Monterey Bay, is organically farmed and receives sunshine most days during the growing season but its proximity to the ocean causes the site to cool quickly at night. This is an ideal sunny-yet-mild microclimate for Pinot Noir that encourages the nuances and complexity of the varietal to develop.
The clones planted are all Dijon: 115, 667 and 777. These are new age clones that are now planted all over California and dominate the Pinot Noir industry on the West Coast. Dijon clones were first planted in the US in the very early 1990’s partly in response to replanting at that time due to rootstocks failing to phylloxera in established vineyards and also in response to the availability of new clones developed at the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon. At the time they were an anomaly and curiosity as most winemakers were accustomed to working with fruit from old selections and “suitcase clones”; now they are the most common Pinot Noir clones planted and have delivered a somewhat predictable character to modern West Coast Pinot Noir. However, fortunately for us, this site twists and tweaks the paradigm of these clones ever so slightly to pique our interest.