Or rather coming out from the cold.
Spring is nearly upon us, and as such I too will be coming out of blog hibernation and updating this section at least every other week.
Fortunately the vineyard is still sleeping, which is a good thing since we experienced a cold snap last week. Temperatures dipped into the 20s. Had any of our vines started pushing, the baby shoots would have been met with a grim fate.
Wildflowers are among us and we are hoping for more rain this week and beyond. We are preparing to bottle the 2020 James Berry Vineyard blend, which will be included in the spring wine club allocation.
A wine club event will be happening here April 30th. More details to come regarding this private event, but we can tell you that it will be outdoors, limited in attendance, with live music and excellent catering. When the invite goes out we highy recommend submitting an RSVP post haste.
Wine club members can expect emails to arrive within the next week or two announcing the wine allocation and the private event.
The wine shop is currently open, but it will close soon to the general public as we prepare our spring release.
Thanks for checking in and stay tuned for more updates.
We have finished picking all of the fruit for harvest 2021. In fact, we have our 2021 James Berry Vineyard Grenache blend finished and in barrel along with a good hunk of the Adams Ranch wines. The Bien Nacido Syrah was picked last and is happily fermenting along in a concrete tank along with 3 separate ferments of Adams Ranch fruit. All in all things have gone quite smoothly and we are grateful for another great year. Standby for more and enjoy the photos.
Our first pick is in the books and we can report the existence of a happy tank filled with 70% Syrah, 20% Roussanne and 10% Grenache. We whole-bunch-foot-stomped all of the Roussanne and Grenache and about half of the Syrah. This is likely to be a highly aromatic and elegant cuvée and will be used to bring complexity to our future picks in the coming weeks.
Thanks for visiting and we hope you enjoy the photos.
Pigeage (foot stomping) a lovely box ouf Roussanne from the Lake Block at Adams Ranch Vineyard
Harvest Sunrise in the Bunkhouse Block.
The fall allocation is currently in progress. These wines are for wine club only. If you are not already a member and would like to join, please navigate to the wine club page at the header above or CLICK HERE.
2021 FALL WINE CLUB RELEASE NOTES
2019 Ledge - Adams Ranch Vineyard
Paso Robles, Willow Creek District
62% Syrah, 34% Grenache, 4% Roussanne
100% Adams Ranch Vineyard
10/4/19 (Syrah and Roussanne) 11/7/19 (Grenache)
The Adams Ranch Vineyard was first planted in 2005 and is the Ledge estate vineyard. It is in the Paso Robles, Willow Creek District AVA in the Santa Lucia Mountain range near the York Mountain AVA. The red varieties planted are Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsaut and Counoise and the white varieties are Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Clairette Blanche. The vineyard is designed to produce two field blends, one red and one white. The white wines will come online in 2023 and the Roussanne is currently cofermented with the red grapes for additional complexity. Rosé will always be an option and Cinsaut and Counoise were planted partially for this potential, inspired by the 2017 and 2019 Ledge rosé wines sourced from James Berry Vineyard. The estate vineyard is currently 15 acres with another 15 acres plantable. The vines are farmed in a variety of styles and spacings including 11’x11’ head trained, 8’x3’ cordon and the insanely tight meter by meter spacing.
The Syrah and Roussanne were harvested and fermented together with wild yeast from 10/4/19 to 10/28/19 in a stainless steel tank. The Roussanne was included 100% whole cluster and the Syrah was 50% Whole Cluster. The Grenache was also a wild ferment, 100% destemmed and in a stainless tank from 10/17/19 -11/7/19. The wines were sealed and cold-soaked until the onset of fermentation (2 to 3 days) and saw pump-overs, delestage and manual punch-downs until completely dry. The wines were then sealed and deprived of oxygen for a day or two before free-run and pressing into barrel.
The wines sat on gross lees prior to bottling and were aged in new and neutral large-format French and Hungarian oak barrels.
Sandy clay loam, sandstone
Arbuckle-San Ysidro complex
Gaviota-San Andreas association
The Arbuckle series consists of very deep, well drained soils that formed in alluvium from sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Arbuckle soils are on low terraces, and have slopes of 0 to 75 percent. The mean annual precipitation is about 508 millimeters (20 inches) and the mean annual air temperature is about 16 degrees C (61 degrees F).
The San Ysidro series consists of very deep, moderately well drained soils that formed in alluvium from sedimentary rocks. San Ysidro soils are on fan remnants and stream terraces and have slopes of 0 to 9 percent. The mean annual precipitation is about 20 inches and the mean annual air temperature is about 59 degrees F.
The Gaviota series consists of very shallow or shallow, well drained soils that formed in material weathered from hard sandstone or meta-sandstone. Gaviota soils are on hills and mountains and have slopes of 2 to 100 percent. The average annual precipitation is about 20 inches and the mean annual temperature is about 60 degrees F.
The San Andreas series consists of moderately deep soils that formed in material weathered from soft sandstone. San Andreas soils are on hills and mountainous uplands and have slopes of 9 to 75 percent. The mean annual precipitation is about 20 inches and the mean annual air temperature is about 61 degrees F.
2019 Ledge - Bien Nacido Vineyards
Santa Maria Valley - Santa Barbara County AVA
100% Syrah, Estrella Clone
Block 11B, Bien Nacido Vineyards
The Estrella clone of Syrah was brought to Paso Robles from the south of France by Gary Eberly, then an Enology student at UC Davis. In 1986, his was the first 100% Syrah bottled in America at his Estrella River Winery. Bien Nacido Vineyard’s nursery was the source for the James Berry Vineyard/Saxum Bone Rock Syrah, and JBV is where we sourced cuttings for our “Ledge Block” of Syrah. Ledge co-owner Ciera Adams was raised in Santa Barbara and we wanted to develop a presence in the county. Fortunately for us, Bien Nacido expressed enthusiasm for our wines and we were able to secure a contract for their coveted Syrah in 2018.
Harvested and fermented wild from 10/31/19 to 11/20/19 in a stainless steel tank. The fruit was completely destemmed with 35 percent of "choice" stems returned to the tank. The wines were sealed and cold-soaked until the onset of fermentation (2 to 3 days) and saw pump-overs, delestage and manual punch downs until completely dry. The wines were then sealed and deprived of oxygen for a day or two before free run and pressing into new and neutral large format French oak barrels.
Loam, shales, uplifted marine volcanics and limestone.
Los Osos Clay Loam
Santa Lucia Shaly Clay
The Los Osos series consists of moderately deep, well drained soils that formed in material weathered from sandstone and shale. Los Osos soils are on uplands and have slopes of 5 to 75 percent. The mean annual precipitation is about 25 inches and the mean annual air temperature is about 60 degrees F.
The Santa Lucia series consists of moderately deep, well drained soils that formed in material weathered from white shale containing some ash, and some siliceous and diatomaceous material. Santa Lucia soils are on uplands and have slopes of 2 to 75 percent. The mean annual precipitation is about 25 inches and the mean annual air temperature is 59 degrees F.
2019 Ledge - MCA Cuvée
Central Coast, California
70% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 5% Roussanne
Adams Ranch Vineyard, Bien Nacido Vineyards and James Berry Vineyard 15.5% ABV
MCA are my initials (Mark Clement Adams) and a lifelong nickname, but this wine’s name also pays homage to friend and mentor Justin Smith, who casually refers to Ledge wines as “MCA Cuvée”. 2019 saw substantial new plantings at the Adams Ranch and led to our streamlining fruit sourcing to three vineyards: Adams Ranch Vineyard, Bien Nacido Vineyards and James Berry Vineyard. MCA Cuvée begins its journey in what we call a “hodge podge” barrel, a barrel that houses the remaining pressed wines from various vineyards. The blend is completed using hand-selected complimentary barrels from our other lots resulting in the final blend. A slight labeling miscalculation is present here, as this wine includes a very small percentage of Mourvèdre not noted, from the 2019 James Berry Vineyard co-ferment of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Roussanne.
This is a blend of barrels from Adams Ranch, Bien Nacido and James Berry Vineyards. The wines were sealed and cold-soaked until the onset of fermentation (2 to 3 days) and saw pump-overs, delestage and manual punch downs until completely dry. The wines were then sealed and deprived of oxygen for a day or two before free run and pressing into new and neutral large format French and Hungarian oak barrels.
Sandy clay loam, sandstone, shales, uplifted marine volcanics, and limestone.
Here's a little update on what's happening in all of our blocks. Ripening is moving along and we will be picking soon. Scroll down to see what's happening at the Adams Ranch Vineyard.
WINE CLUB UPDATE: 11/11/21 is our shipping date. Email offers coming next week. Email us if you are concerned about missing out. We can pre-set your orders. We will be offering all of the 19s, with customization options available. 2019 James Berry Vineyard, 2019 Adams Ranch Vineyard, 2019 Bien Nacido Vineyard and 2019 MCA Cuvèe.
"The Fin", Grenache
"Lower Ledge", Cinsaut
"The Lake", Roussanne
"The Bunkhouse", Syrah
"The Orchard", Grenache
"Lower Ledge", Syrah and a few remaining own rooted Mourvédre vines
"Meter by Meter", Syrah mostly but field blending in Counoise, Mourvédre and other Rhônes.
Grenache from the Fin
Roussanne from the Lake
New planting of "Upper Ledge", Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Roussanne and Syrah
More soon. Thanks for reading!
It's been a minute since the last update, but that is not due to a lack of activity up here on the ranch or in the cellar. The remaining 2019 Ledge wines are in bottle and we couldn't be happier with them. These 3 new wines are complex, elegant, inky and unique from one another, representing the magical terroir where they were farmed. The 2019 Bien Nacido is 100% Estrella Clone Syrah, The Adams Ranch is Syrah, Grenache and Roussanne and the MCA Cuvée is a blend Syrah, Grenache, Mourvédre and Roussanne from the Adams Ranch, Bien Nacido and the magnificent James Berry Vineyard.
In farming news at the Adams Ranch, we are adding to our holdings of Cinsaut, a grape that seems to rival Grenache for it's happiness here, with fluffy, vibrant canopy and gorgeous fruit sets. We have also added to our blocks of Syrah, Counoise and Roussanne, while the Grenache continues to flourish. Finally, we are adding fresh blocks of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Clairette Blanche, intended for our first Estate white wine. More updates and photos to come.
The online shop is open, and as always, feel free to call, text or email with any questions.
We hope you are enjoying your summer!