Frostwatch – The Vineyard
The Frostwatch Vineyard is set atop a rocky apron in the shadow of Bennett Peak. Originally established in the mid-1990s, the 15 acre vineyard was planted primarily to Merlot, about half as much Chardonnay and small block of old clone Zinfandel. Since that time we have had the opportunity to carefully evaluate what works well on our very cool site and what does not. Today the vineyard is planted to six acres of Chardonnay, four acres of the Kismet components, (Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon), three acres of Pinot Noir, and a single acre of Merlot.
The Chardonnay blocks are planted to Clone 4 (four acres) and "Old Wente" (two acres). Old Wente is an heirloom clone known for intense concentrated flavors and low yields. Our Old Wente budwood was sourced from the Platt Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast and came into full production in 2012.
The components of Kismet (loosely defined as a happy accident) were originally misplants in our oldest Chardonnay block. We identified the two varieties as Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. With the Chardonnay under contract to another winery, we held the fruit from these vines back and made the wine ourselves in our garage. After a couple of years, we decided we really liked the resultant blend. Our current plantings are largely based on cuttings from these original "misplants".
Frostwatch Pinot Noir, comes from the Swan Clone with budwood collected from the Dehlinger Vineyard. The Swan clone was recommended to us and sourced by viticulturalist and winemaker, Greg Bjornstad. The Pinot Noir will come into full production in 2014.
Lastly, we have but one acre of Merlot remaining from our original planting. This block spans a rocky, well drained slope along the backside of the vineyard. This unique orientation makes it possible for us to grow grapes that will produce the lush wines with a bolder flavor profile that we love.