Hello from the Adams Ranch,
Forgive the lack of updates, but not a whole lot has been happening up here. Aside from basic maintenance, the vineyard has been transforming from canopy growth to ripening mode. The shoot growth has slowed and the plants are putting their energy into the grapes. Veraison is well on it's way throughout the vineyard with Syrah taking the lead, followed by Grenache, Roussanne and finally Cinsaut.
The jury is still out on whether or not we will make a Cinsaut rosé this year, but truth be told, we'd rather the Cinsaut reach optimal ripeness in order to include it in our red blend. The Syrah, Grenache and Roussanne are all on track for the usual October harvest, with yeilds a little bit down from last year. We have been dropping fruit on over cropped vines and taking precautions to make sure we get the finest fruit possible.
James Berry Vineyard (Willow Creek District, Paso Robles) is looking glorious as usual, as is our Syrah block at the Bien Nacido Estate (Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County).
These vineyards (along with the Adams Ranch) represent the future of the Ledge winery program. We encourage you to click the links above to learn more about these world class vineyard sites.
In other news, we have released wine club and will be updating our online store this week. Many of you have already customized your orders, but as you know, certain releases will sell out rapidly, so stock up on your favorites while you can.
For those not in the wine club, there are still wines avaialble for purchase in our online store.
You can visit the store by CLICKING HERE
We have two new releases for wine club: the 2018 Adams Ranch Syrah blend and the 2018 James Berry Vineyard Grenache Blend.
Please check back next week for more updates and a streamlined online shopping module.
Happy Wine Wednesday and we wish you all the very best.
Mark, Ciera and Elizabeth
Happy Wine Wednesday!
We put up the last of the Ledge 100% Grenache in the online store from vintages 2015 and 2016. We are down to our last few cases, so act now if you want to get in on these wines.
Would you like to schedule a virtual tasting? We are happy to set up a private tasting with you via zoom.
EMAIL US FOR DETAILS
Tomorrow, Thursday June 12th at 3pm we will be participating in a Zoom Hangout with Chris Taranto of Paso Wine as well as Paul Lopez from Denner Winery and Daniel Callan of Thatcher Winery.
MORE INFO HERE
We have been cleaning up the vineyard, shoot thinning and planting. Here are a few photos taken yesterday evening at the Adams Ranch Vineyard. Thanks for visiting!
Roussanne in the Lake Block looking towards Cinsaut and Syrah in the Ledge Block.
Grenache in the Fin
Syrah in the Bunkhouse Block
Moving right along...
Here are a few snaps of our current vineyard progress. We have vines in all stages of fruit set, pro bloom, partial bloom, full bloom, and baby fruit clusters as you will see below. We are experiencing a bit of a cool down and we hope the weather cooperates for the setting of all of our clusters. Stay tuned. To visit the wine shop, click HERE
Grenache at the Adams Ranch
Cinsaut in Year 3
We have several fun wine choices available for free shipping. Click this link to visit the online wine shop
Summer is upon us and thigs are moving right along here on the vineyard. Flowering is well underway and we should be seeing fruit sets sooner than later. We miss wine loving visitors, but are happy to send our wines to your door. Don't hesitate to ask about any rare vintages or releases that may not be in the shop. We have quite a few surprises in our library that we are happy to share. Enjoy the photos of the Adams Ranch Vineyard and we hope to see you soon.
We're seeing substantial growth on most of our vines, with our Meter by Meter block clearly leading the way. This block is planted to Estrella Clone Syrah and is rooted in heavy clay. The water retention on this part of the vineyard is superb and the vines here are literally lapping it up. We've been mowing away and cleaning up the cover crop to prepare for shoot thinning and some replants coming next week. Enjoy the photos and don't forget to check out the rare bottles in the wine shop.
SHOP WINES - FREE SHIPPING ON 6
Syrah in the Meter by Meter. Adams Ranch Vineyard, Willow Creek District, Paso Robles
Grenache in the Fin and Orchard Blocks. Adams Ranch Vineyard, Willow Creek District, Paso Robles
While out on the tractor today I noticed what a neat variety of soils we have on the Adams Ranch. Here is a little breakdown. Enjoy!
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mostly of quartz sand, but it can also contain significant amounts of feldspar, and sometimes silt and clay. Sandstone that contains more than 90% quartz is called quartzose sandstone. When the sandstone contains more than 25% feldspar, it is called arkose or arkosic sandstone. When there is a significant amount of clay or silt, geologists refer to the rock as argillaceous sandstone. The color of sandstone varies, depending on its composition. Argillaceous sandstones are often gray to blue. Because it is composed of light colored minerals, sandstone is typically light tan in color. Other elements, however, create colors in sandstone. The most common sandstones have various shades of red, caused by iron oxide (rust). In some instances, there is a purple hue caused by manganese. These rocks are near the Meter by Meter Syrah Block on the northeast side of the property. It is a favorite spot to hunt fossils - usually clams - which can be seen in earlier blog posts.
Gravel deposits are a common geological feature, being formed as a result of the weathering and erosion of rocks. The action of rivers and waves tends to pile up gravel in large accumulations. This can sometimes result in gravel becoming compacted and lithified into the sedimentary rock called conglomerate. Where natural gravel deposits are insufficient for human purposes, gravel is often produced by quarrying and crushing hard-wearing rocks, such as sandstone, limestone, or basalt. Quarries where gravel is extracted are known as gravel pits. Southern England possesses particularly large concentrations of them due to the widespread deposition of gravel in the region during the Ice Ages. This soil type is foung in our Lake Block (planted to Roussanne and Grenache). Fun Fact: before we planted grapes here, this was indeed a gravel pit. We used it to grade roads. It's a big beautiful orange rocky mess. It was also a lake that my brother and sister and I used to swim and fish in. After repeated dry years it was useless as a reservoir, so we filled it in and planted grapes here.
Galets roulés are components of the terrain, or terroir, and a distinguishing feature of many of the vineyards in the Côtes du Rhône AOC and more specifically Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC and other top wine producing areas in the regions such as Gigondas_AOC and Vacqueyras_AOC. They are often larger, rounded stones that have been smoothed by both glacial and fluvial actions over time and deposited in the region by the Rhone river. We aren't sure what river rolled these stones. It is very likely that our ranch is the result of a tectonic shift that brought an ancient seashore and perhaps a river mouth to our part of the Willow Creek Sub AVA, which, by the way is mostly calcareous soils. These rocks and soils are not common on the west side of Paso Robles. These large deposits of rolled stones are found in the Lake Block. I smash them to bits with the mower regularly.
Sand consists of small particles of weathered rock. Sandy soils are one of the poorest types of soil for growing plants because it has very low nutrients and poor in holding water, which makes it hard for the plant’s roots to absorb water. This type of soil is very good for the drainage system. Sandy soil is usually formed by the breakdown or fragmentation of rocks like granite, limestone, and quartz. Most of the Adams ranch has a sub layer of clay 4-6 feet below the sandy loam. This acts as a spongey reservoir and retains water quite well. Grapes are resilient. They are up for the challenge - struggling in the sand but pushing their roots through to the clay. Clay saves the day!
Terra rossa (Italian for "red soil") is a well-drained, reddish, clayey to silty clayey soil with neutral pH conditions and is typical of the Mediterranean region. The reddish color of terra rossa is the result of the preferential formation of hematite over goethite. This soil type typically occurs as a discontinuous layer that ranges from a few centimeters to several meters in thickness that covers limestone and dolomitebedrock in karst regions. The high internal drainage and neutral pH conditions of terra rossa are a result of the karstic nature of the underlying limestone and dolomite. Terra rossa is also found associated with Mediterranean climates and karst elsewhere in the world. Compared to most clayey soils, terra rossa has surprisingly good drainage characteristics. This makes it a popular soil type for wine production. Among other wine regions, it is found in La Mancha in Spainand the Coonawarra, Fleurieu and Barossa Valley growing areas in Australia. This soil is found in various parts of the ranch, but this photo was taken in the Fin Block, where we have Grenache planted.
Clay is the smallest particles amongst the other two types of soil. The particles in this soil are tightly packed together with each other with very little or no airspace. This soil has very good water storage qualities and making hard for moisture and air to penetrate into it. It is very sticky to the touch when wet, but smooth when dried. Clay is the densest and heaviest type of soil which do not drain well or provide space for plant roots to flourish. That said - the northern part of our Meter by Meter Syrah Block and our lower block of Cinsaut are thriving just a stone's throw away from where this photo was taken. Another Fun Fact: I have learned to process this clay with a fining method and turn it into blocks of clay suitable for ceramics. While I am a beginner - I have learned to spin this clay on a wheel and make pieces from Adams Ranch clay. Mugs for everyone this Christmas! LOL
Loam is the fourth type of soil. It is a combination of sand, silt, and clay such that the beneficial properties from each is included. For instance, it has the ability to retain moisture and nutrients, hence, it is more suitable for farming. This soil is also referred to as an agricultural soil as it includes an equilibrium of all three types of soil materials being sandy, clay, and silt and it also happens to have hummus. Apart from these, it also has higher calcium and pH levels because of its inorganic origins. This photo was taken outside of our Cinsaut block.
Thank you for reading. See you next week. The wine shop is open and has some really fun, rare wines.
Mark & CIera & Elizabeth
We have been dipping in to a few of our library wines at home and feel that it is high time we share these wines with you. Your orders keep streaming in and we thank you for your patronage.
Click on the WINES section to view our updated shop. We are excited to offer you not only our current releases, but selections that are on fumes and will simply not last long. We are also covering the shipping on certain orders.
A friend texted me today who wanted to buy more of the 2015 MCA Cuvée. I was certain we had a few more cases remaining. I was wrong.
We are putting the 2013 and 2014 Vineyard Drive in the shop along with the 2016 and 17 MCA Cuvée Blends.
There is also a 4 bottle Vertical of Dante Dusi Zinfandel: 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
As far as Grenache, the 2015 Rolph Family Vineyard Grenache is down to 6 cases. The 2016 is down to 14 cases.
Snap them up and tell us what you think. Our reviews section can offer a little guidance. We are happy to report that they all hover in the mid 90s scoring wise.
We are currently offering free shipping on all orders of 6 bottles or more via UPS Ground (to licensed regions) within the continental United States. For orders of 3-5 bottles we are offering $10 shipping.
San Luis Obispo County residents are eligible for free shipping on orders of 3 bottles or more. Use promo code SLOCO.
To those of you not in SLO County, DON'T CHEAT. Ciera will catch you.
You have better chances of writing us a Ledge Love Letter to get a break on your shipping.
Keep on Keepin' on. We miss you all so.
Ciera and Mark Adams
(805) 434-8663 (text or cell)
As you may know, Ledge is planted completely to Rhône grape varieties. Currently, we are planted exclusively to Châteauneuf du Pape grape varieties and are currently missing our favorite Rhône wine festival in Paso Robles.
In honor of Hopsice Du Rhône, the largest celebration of Rhône wines in the world, we wanted to post a few factoids and resourses for further exploration. We look forward to future gatherings!
THE LEDGE WINE SHOP IS OPEN.
If you are looking for rare or hard to find bottles, please EMAIL US WITH YOUR WISH LIST
Please also check out these Rhône Wine Related Organizations.
Rhône Grape Varieties
Twenty-Two Rhône Wine Varieties
Bourboulenc: (Burr-buh-lanc) light bodied, delicate floral, citrus, peach, melon, earth
Camarese: (Cam-are-ess) firm, tannins, delicate aromatics, pepper, spice
Carignane Noir: (Care-ig-non No-our) tannic, solid acidity, good color, cherry, raspberry, pepper
Cinsault Noir: (Sahn-so No-our) elegant, soft & lightly aromatic, strawberry, raspberry, smoke, earth
Clairette Blanc: (Claret Blan) big bodied, floral, aromatic, honeysuckle, tropical flowers, tropical fruits
Clairette Rose: (Clare-et Rose) light aromatics, fruit notes, soft strawberry, cherry, rose petal
Counoise Noir: (Coon-wahz No-our) lively acidity, spice, richness, raspberry, cherry, cranberry
Grenache Blanc: (Gra-nash blan) big bodied, soft, delicate peach, melon, pear
Grenache Gris: (Gra-Nash Gree) full-bodied, light in color, delicate strawberry, cherry, rose petal
Grenache Noir: (Gra-Nash o-our) big bodied, supple, & rich strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, black pepper
Marsanne: (Mar-san) broad palate, soft & rich, peach, nectarine, stone fruits, tuberose, sweet nuts
Mourvèdre: (More-ved) tannic, deeply colored, aromatic, black currant, dark cherries, leather, smoke, earth
Muscardin: (Mus-car-dan) floral, aromatic, firmly structured, rose petal, barnyard, earth
Muscat a Petits Grains: (Mus-cat ah Pet-eet Grahn) aromatic, floral, musk, honey, honeysuckle, lily, stone fruit
Picpoul Blanc: (Peek-pool Blan) floral, soft, aromatic, pear, earth, lily, daisy, wildflowers
Picpoul Noir: (Peek-pool No-our) floral, elegant, aromatic, rose, violet, dark cherry
Roussanne: (Roo-sahn) firmly structured, powerful, very rich, apricot, honey, almond, nutmeg, honeysuckle, iris
Syrah/Shiraz: (C-rah)/(She-raz) highly colored, firmly structured and aromatic, plum, raspberry, blueberry, blackcurrant, violet, roasted meats, smoke, chocolate, pepper, anise
Terret Noir: (Tare-it No-our) delicate, perfumed, bright acidity, rose petal, lavender, dark berries, spice
Ugni Blanc: (Ewn-yee Blan) delicate fruit, good acidity, pear, honey-dew melon, earth
Vaccarese: (Vac-car-ess) aromatic, firmly tannic, floral, pepper, spice, earth, smoke
Viognier: (Vee-ohn-yea) big bodied, very aromatic, complex apricot, musk, peaches, grapefruit, lychee, papaya, mango, tropical flowers