2013 Grower Partners

Mark Ketcham grows our Russian River Pinot Noir. 2013 marks our third harvest with Mark and his dedicated vineyard manager Roberto. Situated in a beautiful corner of paradise, his estate vineyards are used in his own wine program to produce the Ketcham Estate Pinot Noir.

Mark and Roberto at Ketcham

Mark and Roberto at Ketcham

In Mark's desire to buy a vineyard or winery some years back, he evaluated over one hundred properties and put boots on dirt on about twenty of those, before buying these sixteen acres in the heart of the Russian River Valley.

The property has a pretty creek that meanders through the property about eight months a year, giving the vines a wonderful water table to stretch their roots toward. The dirt in the vineyard is a rich, red loam that the vines seem to love. Mark's vineyard manager, Roberto Ordaz, and his family live in a 100 year old house on the property and have for many years. Roberto and his family add a lot of character and personality to the property. They care for it as Mark does.

The vineyard has the terroir that Pinot Noir loves; warm, sunny days, and the cooler nights brought in by the breeze from the Pacific Ocean. Terroir is French for "a sense of place", but has come to mean the combination of land, weather and other things that give the grapes, and thus, the wine, a distinct flavor and palate. Russian River appellation wines are known for their wonderful, distinct flavor and taste.

Our Pinot Noir is a true expression of the beautiful land and amazing vines from which it hails.

2013 Pinot Gris and Chardonnay

This year, we sourced our Pinot Gris and Chardonnay from the Carneros region in Sonoma County. Isaac Jenkins is a 3rd generation grower and manages Madrone Vineyard Management. He is also a winemaker for Clarbec wines in Sonoma.

One of the most important aspects of our grower relations is the ability to trust the grower to give me the most accurate information available about the status and condition of the fruit. They are my eyes and ears in the vineyard. And with Isaac’s history in vineyard management and his experience knowing exactly what a winemaker is looking for, he was really able to dial in our fruit.

Isaac Jenkins has worked along side his father almost all of his life. Under the apprenticeship of Clarence Jenkins he has learned the particulars of grape growing and plays a vital role at Madrone Vineyard Management. he responsible for employee supervision, daily field operations including scheduling, all pesticide-fungicide applications and reporting, and client relations.

Isaac’s love for the vine began at a very young age when he would follow his father and grandfather around the ranch they cared and lived for. When Becky needed someone to sell the wine, Isaac stepped in and quickly learned when you believe in something it is easy to sell. Isaac is currently going to school at Fresno State University of California, with aspirations of gaining a Masters degree in enology and minors in chemistry and viticulture. With Isaac’s experience in grape growing and a degree in wine making, the Jenkins’ family believes Isaac will become an unbeatable wine maker.

We look forward to many more promising vintages with the Jenkins family.

Green Pastures Vineyard Zinfandel

Nick Brodrick with Green Pastures Vineyards supplied our Dry Creek Zinfandel this season. Nick grows multiple varietals right on the edge of the Dry Creek/Russian River boundary. His family has farmed this property for 40+ years. Very small vineyards, separated by huge oak trees, meandering creeks, biodynamic gardens, and rolling hills produce fruit of a very complex, terroir specific nature. This Zinfandel is the Deaver clone, which was pioneered in the Sierra Foothills region of California. Fruit forward with berry and jam notes, but with that classic peppery bite of Dry Creek Zinfandel, his farming practices are meticulous and his fruit was beautiful. We look forward to working with Nick again.