Appellations | Vineyards
Please click below to read more about the amazing AVA's and vineyards that make each
of our wines so unique.
Oakville Ranch is a 330-acre Estate located 1,400 feet above the valley floor on the eastern side of the Oakville AVA along the foothills of the Vaca Mountain range. In 1998, Bob Miner (a founder of Oracle) bought the estate and planted 70 acres of mostly Bordelais varieties on deeply rich, red, volcanic soil. What makes this site so special is the blocks of planted grapes like islands on a sea of wild grasses, native meadows and pristine chaparral made up of sparsely grown scrub oak, Manzanilla and many other drought tolerant evergreens. This incredible diversity encourages avian habitats and insectuaries which provide natural pest control. This meticulous estate encourages further biodiversity by incorporating vegetable gardens, fruit and olive orchards, palm trees and beehives.
The Herold Oakville Cabernet is crafted from three distinct Cabernet Sauvignon blocks within the Ranch- Terrace, Vista and Summit.
Planted in 2005, the 6-acre Terrace Block is a dramatic terrace-planted hillside that rises 400 vertical feet from the original ranch house. Wine made from this block has amazing flavor intensity and structure giving the blend its backbone.
Planted in 2009, the 25-acre Vista Block is a rocky, gently sloping expanse across the heart of the estate. Wine made from this block is ethereal, mineral-driven, multi-layered and extremely balanced giving the wine harmony and length.
The 11-acre Summit block gradually ascends the estate’s westernmost ridge and is the highest point of the estate. Wine made from this block is extremely floral with hallmarks of elegance and power giving the wine’s palate richness and depth. Blending the three blocks catalyze the attributes of each distinct block producing a complete wine that explodes with black and purple fruits, exudes with notes of crushed rock, fresh wildflowers and chaparral. In exceptional vintages, Mark selects one barrel to represent the ultimate expression of vintage and terroir for our MASTODON Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Coombsville AVA is located in the south of Napa Valley. The cooling Petaluma Gap winds sweep this AVA contributing to the cooler climate, resulting in an extended ripening window that leads to highly pigmented, well developed grapes at harvest.
Mark has been working in the Coombsville AVA since 1996 during his tenure at Joseph Phelps as Research Enologist where he dove into phenolics experimentation throughout Napa Valley. He was asked to determine patterns within appellations with special regard to the phenolic data. Mark found that the data favored Coombsville by a considerable amount. For Cabernet Sauvignon it creates wines with concentrated balance.
In 1998 with the inception of his former brand, Merus, Mark sought out growers in Coombsville long before it was recognized with its own appellation status. After selling Merus, Mark continued with these long-term relationships for Herold Coombsville Cabernet Sauvignon.
Stagecoach Vineyard is the largest contiguous vineyard in Napa Valley. First planted in the 19th century by early German settlers, this mountain terrain was identified early on as possessing incredible potential for grape growing and was home to some of Napa Valley’s first wine grapes.
Stagecoach Vineyard soars high with vineyard plantings spanning from 1100’ to 1750’ feet above the Napa Valley. The vineyard is peppered with microclimates due to a variety of aspect, slope, elevation and soil structure. Such a diverse place!
On the fringe of Atlas Peak, bordering the Oakville AVA our block was planted in 2008 to Mark's exact specifications for his Herold Stagecoach Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the highest planted elevations in Stagecoach, this block was difficult to access by vehicle and required many months of dynamiting in preparation for planting.
The sparse soils are the deepest of red and are riddled with volcanic basalt and rocks of all sizes- did we say lots of rocks???!!! The block is steeply situated and surrounded by chaparral. Mark selected his favorite ENTAVE clone 169 which produces small berried clusters full of concentrated flavors with a strong sense of terroir.
Uboldi Vineyard is the home of our Sauvignon Blanc & Sauvignon Musque. The vineyard sits cradled in the cool, stony, western slopes of Sonoma on the southern edge of Kenwood. Farmed by famed grower, Chuy Ordaz, who got his start in the early 1970’s in Kenwood. Chuy has been a champion of sustainable farming long before there were certifications for this type of environmental awareness.
Enjoying a long-time friendship and mutual respect, Mark was able to work with Uboldi Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Musque at a time when growers are replanting over to Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruit grown here enjoys a cooler climate with moderate hang-time resulting in powerfully aromatic, balanced wines that possesses beautiful acidity.