Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Something Old, and Something Older

I don’t mean to brag but we have some pretty old Zinfandel vines, I mean really old, 108 years old, old. As far as I know these are some of the oldest vines in Napa Valley that are still in production. I say some of the oldest because the records aren’t that great from back then I and just don’t want to get in trouble!
What’s incredible about these vines, besides the fact that they have managed to stay in the ground for this long, is they are pretty much self sufficient (besides a nip here and a tuck there). Thanks to our incredibly alluvial soil the tap root has grown 35 feet down into the earth and found the water table. This is a huge plus for us because that means we don’t have to water them. Somehow they are able to pull water up 35 feet to ensure their survival.
What does this mean for the end result, the pretty little grapes? Well, just like in humans, all that hard work builds a whole lot of character! The old vines, compared the 25 year olds that we also have planted in the Hayne Vineyard, show a lot more complexity and depth in flavor. The next time you find yourself in St Helena during harvest stop in and try a grape from each, I dare you!
The Drudge
Chase Cellars

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