MINERAL SPRINGS RANCH
is a 240-acre savanna-like oak woodland and grazing land. It is the home of our Estate vineyard, planted to 15 acres of Pinot Noir in 2002 and 2003 as well as an additional 15 acres in 2006. Two acres of Chardonnay were included in the 2006 plantings and are devoted entirely to our sparkling wine production. Located just east of the town of Carlton, the ranch is perched on a mesa with gentle slopes and commanding views of the surrounding Yamhill-Carlton District. Our production facilities and hospitality buildings are here as well, allowing us complete control of all operations.
As a vineyard site, Mineral Springs has an extremely compelling confluence of prime exposure, and uniform, well-drained, pale sedimentary soils. The primary slope faces due south. It is here that the vines absorb the sun from an ideal aspect, from morning through twilight. Unlike many vineyards with small depressions and moist swales, this is a gentle, highly uniform slope. Mineral Springs Vineyard is planted between 380 and 440 feet in elevation. Exposure ranges from southeast to west, with most acreage facing south and southwest. Our soils are crumbly, loamy, pale marine Keasey series sediments (such as sandstone and fractured siltstone) mixed with clay. The topsoil layer is rather shallow in many places, and drainage is excellent.
The clonal selections Tony has made for this vineyard are dwarfed by the inherent suitability of this land for viticulture. It is a very special vineyard site; not only does its prime exposure and drainage enable our grapes to ripen reliably in advance of the fall rains, these very old marine sediments imbue the wines with a subtle exoticism and spiciness that announces itself before the new wine comes near a barrel. The 2005 vintage represented the inaugural release from this vineyard and featured notes of blackberry, black cherries, white pepper, floral notes that recall freesias and roses, and a distinctively exotic personality. Subsequent bottlings have consistently expressed this exotic flare with a solid core of pure, supple fruit and lovely acid balance.