The grapes for Montemaggiore wines come from our mountainside estate vineyards in Sonoma County, near the small town of Healdsburg, California. Our location, climate, and soils are the key to producing rich, elegant wines.
Mountainside in Sonoma
Lying 750 feet above the Russian River, our vineyards are steeply terraced on the eastern edge of the coastal range hugging the Pacific Ocean. The steep mountainside is responsible for our naturally low-yielding vines and the concentrated flavors in our wines. The proximity to the ocean insures a steady stream of cool fog on most summer nights.
Montemaggiore is located in the Dry Creek Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) of Sonoma County, about 60 miles north of San Francisco. Known as the premier region for growing Zinfandel in the world, Dry Creek is gaining recognition for it's Rhône varietals such as Syrah. Due to our microclimate, Syrah performs extremely well on our mountainside.
Climate: Cool but not too Cool
The climate in Dry Creek Valley is relatively warm—however, due our mountainside position and elevation, our microclimate is much cooler. This is critical to the wonderful complexity of our wines: the warmth of our climate brings out the fruitiness and richness in our wines, while the coolness of our microclimate brings out the structure, balance, and layers of subtlety.
Inhospitable Soils from Schist
The soils in our vineyards are basically inhospitable to most plants: extremely rocky with little water retention and few nutrients. The thin layer of topsoil is derived from schist of the Franciscan Formation. Schist is a very hard metamorphic rock that many experts believe underlies the greatest vineyards in the world: much of the Duoro in Portugal, the Côte Rôtie in France, and the best Chianti vineyards in Italy. Schist produces great wines because it retains little water and contains few nutrients—stressing the vines just enough to produce small, intensely-flavored grapes. These are soils only a grape could love!
Why do mountain grapes produce such good wines?
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Schist is the underlying rock of our mountainside, which produces great wines because it retains little water and contains few nutrients—stressing the vines just enough to produce small, intensely-flavored grapes.Vincent