At just under 700 planted acres, Bennett Valley is one of the State’s smallest viticultural areas, yet its wines set a benchmark for California wine in channeling an Old World character. Vivio Vineyard, resting on the Valley’s western slope, is a case in point. Bathed in warm Sonoma sun for most of the growing season, evenings bring fog from San Pablo Bay in the South, providing a buffer to the surrounding warmer climate. The vineyard was planted in 2003 by (then) landowners, Joe and Priscilla Vivio. Their thoughtful selection of clones and the site’s well-drained volcanic soils define the terroir of this special vineyard. Today, David Gavrich and his wife Chris, continue the Vivios’ sustainable approach to viticulture.
Jemrose Vineyard lies among rolling hills in the Southeast corner of Sonoma County. Here, in the Bennett Valley AVA, a patchwork of open grassland and groves of Coast Live Oak give way to carefully manicured vine rows. Warm Summer days draw evening fog up from San Pablo Bay in the South. This coastal influence has a moderating effect on daytime temperatures and ensures an extended growing season. This additional hang time adds character and complexity to fruit while softening astringent tannin and acidity. The rocky, volcanic soils of the region are lean and well-drained. This “poor dirt” reduces grapevine vigor, in turn concentrating flavors and character.
Sonoma Coast/Russian River Valley
A state-designated “Heritage Vineyard”, this one-acre parcel is truly a Californian relic. It was planted in 1873 and stands as a living example of how the noble Zinfandel grape has been intertwined with the history of California winegrowing.