Choosing the Clones
Prior to our acquisition, the vineyard produced cabernet sauvignon grapes that were blended into Cain Five. Yields from the vineyard had dwindled steadily in the late 1990’s because the clones were grafted on AXR root stock, and the vines suffered from phylloxera. When we acquired the property, we benefited from the advice of Master of Wine, Jean Michel Valette, the former CEO of Franciscan Estates and former Chairman of the Robert Mondavi winery.
We re-planted the 3 1/2 acres of prime cabernet soil with clone 4 and 337 on 3309 and 101-14 root stock. The vineyard is divided into two blocks. We use a drip irrigation system and have one dedicated well for the vineyard.
History of Vineyard Managers
Davey Pina of Pina Vineyards re-planted the vineyard and was our first vineyard manager. By 2003, Jim Barbour was managing the vineyard, and in 2003 we had enough grapes that were of sufficient quality for our very first commercial crop, the ’03, to be blended into Jim Barbour’s phenomenal wine, with Heidi Barrett at the helm. The Leaf + Twig grapes accounted for approximately 20% of the ’03 Barbour, which Vinfolio reviewed as follows: “The nose shows rich shadings of nectarine, currant, and spicy chocolate mole. The palate is rich and smooth with roasted currant, chocolate, and anise pod.” Pete Richmond, Stan Zervas, Arnulfo Solorio and their team at Silverado Farming have managed the Leaf + Twig vineyard into its early maturity, and the Leaf + Twig wine has been made atVineyard 29 since ’04.