Vines along the ridge. Planted along a ridge at the highest part of the Mayacamas Mountains, 105 acres of our Obsidian Ridge Vineyard rise from 2,300' to 2,640' in elevation and range from 5% to 20% slopes. The contours of the mountainside influence how we prune, water, balance the canopy, and pick the fruit—shaping literally every aspect of how we farm and vinify.
Vines that struggle produce better wines. At high altitude, colder temperatures and more intense sunlight mean harsher conditions for our Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah vines. This is a good thing.
When we discovered this amazing mountainside in this little-known locale of the Mayacamas, we knew—just as when the generation before us stepped foot on our seaside vineyard—that we’d found something special. Here, at well over 2,000' elevation, the intense mountain sun triggers the maturation of the seeds and tannins within the grape, ensuring their ripeness at harvest. At the same time, the outer skin thickens to protect the pulp, setting the stage for the singular flavors and colors that will be released upon crush.
The vineyard’s red soils are also shot with obsidian glass and gravel, providing yet another fortunate hurdle for the vines. Refraction and heat retention from the black rock translates into additional sunlight intensity. And rocky earth means good drainage, which in turn means added effort for the plant to feed and hydrate itself.
This character-building struggle in this uncommon, high-up place results in the rare and flavorful fruit that become our Obsidian Ridge wines.