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Ultimate Guide: Wine Caves

Posted on December 10, 2018 by Estate Vineyard

Visiting wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties is a bucket list experience that draws wine enthusiasts from all around the world, but wine tasting is really just the tip of the iceberg. Top your visit off with a visit to a wine cave for a truly memorable—even magical—experience.

The cave is where perfect temperature and humidity allow wines to age gracefully and transform from goodto award-winning. Caves provide the ideal storage environment for wine. The temperature remains constant—usually around 58℉ in California—and the humidity is relatively high. This, in turn, minimizes evaporation of the wines as they age.

The Soul of the Wine

There may be something intangible that caves add to wine as well—this is where the magic comes in. Martha McClellan, the winemaker at Sloan Estate, suggests the caves add to the soul of the wine. In her own words… “The cave’s purpose is to provide a tranquil, peace-filled atmosphere for the wine to rest and age for two or more years. In the end, this beauty contributes tothe soul of the wine, nurtured from vine, to tank, to barrel and ultimately to bottle.’”

Benefits of Caves

The constant temperature and humidity is not only good for the wines, it is good for the wineries and our world at large. By utilizing the stable cave climate there is no need to use expensive and energy intensive equipment to store wine. And by building underground, wineries leave the valuable real estate above ground available for planting.

Then to Now: The Evolution of Gourmet Caves

Caves were constructed in Sonoma and Napa Counties beginning in the 1870’s, but the caves that are built today are a far cry from their predecessors. Today’s caves are used for much more than just storage—they are designed to play a vital role in the hospitality of the wineries. Caves are used for tasting rooms, retail shops, office space, special events, private dinners, and even music venues.

This diversity of functions is great news for visitors, because the magic of being in a wine cave is an experience that you will not want to miss!

Go Deeper

Check out this fabulous guide to caves in Northern California that you can visit today!

Want a cave of your own? We are offering a well established winery off the iconic Silverado Trail with a 4500± sq. ft. cave of its own. LEARN MORE

 

*Quote from Martha McClellan courtesy of californiabountiful.com

*Featured image courtesy of Far Niente Winery

 

 

News This Week: Michelin Guide and Holiday Gifts

Posted on November 30, 2018 by Estate Vineyard

DISCOVER THIS WEEKS  EXCITING LOCAL NEWS AND TOP REAL ESTATE STORIES

1) Three Stars for Single Thread

Michelin just announced their rankings for bay area restaurants, and Healdsburg’s Single Thread continued its success by gaining its third star. The Michelin Guide’s Bay Area list has eight restaurants with three stars, six restaurants with two stars and 43 with one star. READ MORE

 

2) Burying Electrical Lines May Prevent Wildfires

PG&E is installing power lines underground in West Sonoma County to better understand the costs and benefits of burying power lines for wildfire prevention. READ MORE

 

3) Sonoma County’s Natural Resources Are Worth Billions

A new report assigns a dollar value to the “nature” resource of Sonoma County that is approximately $6.6 billion per year. READ MORE

 

4) Guide for Local Holiday Gifts

#Buy Local and discover one-of-a-kind gifts for anyone on your list this year. READ MORE

Yorkville Highlands Appellation: A Hidden Gem in Mendocino County

Posted on November 14, 2018 by Estate Vineyard

A Hidden Gem…


The Yorkville Highlands American Viticultural Area (AVA) is located in Mendocino County along Highway 128, perfectly situated in the heart of Northern California’s world-renowned wine country. 
Northwest of the Yorkville Highlands lies the Anderson Valley AVA, famous for its Pinot Noir; and to the Southwest is Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley AVA, known for its Cabernet Sauvignon.

Superior Red Wines


Comprised of 40,000 acres, the Yorkville Highlands AVA is known for its red varietals—a departure from the rest of Mendocino County, where Chardonnay reigns supreme. 
Over 20 different varietals are grown in the AVA, but the largest plantings are Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Merlot.

Distinctive Micro-Climate


The vineyards of Yorkville Highlands are planted on bench land that ranges from 1,000 feet to 2,200 feet in elevation.
The higher elevation creates a unique micro-climate defined by night time cooling trends and a moderate climate. The moderate climate allows for an extended and even growing period.

Winter rainfall in the Yorkville Highlands can be quite high, with typical years averaging nearly 68 inches. Fortunately, there is rarely rain during the growing season.

Long Harvest Season & Complex Robust Flavors


The Yorkville Highlands AVA benefits from a long growing season.
Most years, grapes are harvested later than the surrounding AVAs.

The long ripening process yields fruit that has higher acidity and robust flavors, while still maintaining balance and structure. For red wines, the resulting flavor reveals complex tannins that are not overpowering.



Excellent Soils, Distinguished Fruit


The soils in the Highlands have superior drainage with a high gravel content. 
This distinctive soil type encourages the vines to root deeply. This, in turn, leads to hardy, low vigor plants. The vineyards of this region produce exceptional fruit with highly concentrated flavors.

 

We are thrilled to announce a rare opportunity to acquire 116± acres of premier vineyards in the heart of California’s wine country. LEARN MORE >>

 

News This Week: Election Results

Posted on November 09, 2018 by Estate Vineyard

EACH WEEK WE COLLECT TOP LOCAL NEWS AND RECENT REAL ESTATE STORIES. 

 

1) Sonoma County Voters Approve Funds for Parks


Voters approved Measure M by an overwhelming margin on Tuesday. The Measure increases sales tax in Sonoma County by one eighth of a percent. Revenues will be used to maintain county and municipal parks.
READ MORE

2) Butte County Fire Darkens Sonoma County Skies


Smoke from the Camp Fire, burning over a hundred miles to the north east of Sonoma County, is reminding many residents of the devastation that we experienced 13 months ago during the Tubbs Fire.
READ MORE

3) Mixed Success for Affordable Housing Ballot Measures


There were seven measures on the Napa County and Santa Rosa ballots that aimed to address affordable housing issues. Of the seven measures, three failed to get the necessary votes.
READ MORE

4) Prop. 6 Defeat Allows Infrastructure Improvements in Sonoma County to Continue


The defeat of Proposition 6 means that local projects such as SMART train expansion and Highway 101 widening will continue to receive funding. READ MORE

featured image courtesy of pressdemocrat.com

History of the Sonoma Valley AVA: Making Wine For 150 Years

Posted on November 07, 2018 by Estate Vineyard

The fledgling town of Glen Ellen has a post office, hotel and cooper shop. The area is home to “some of the most experienced vine-growers in the county . . . a radius of six miles, with Glen Ellen at its center, would, in the opinion of many, include the finest grape-growing section in the State of California.”
—Thompson’s Historical Atlas of Sonoma County, 1877

The Sonoma Valley AVA is the first winemaking region in Sonoma County. Home to one of the original commercial wineries in California (established in 1857), Sonoma Valley produces world class, unparalleled wines that bring in tourists from all around the globe.


*There are 18 AVAs in Sonoma County, encompassing 60,000± acres of planted vineyards & 425± wineries. The Sonoma Valley AVA is in the Southern portion of the county on the border of Napa County.

Sonoma Valley earned AVA status in 1981. It consists of 55 wineries and 14,000± vineyard acres along a 17± mile stretch of the Valley of Sonoma (also known as the Valley of the Moon). This unique and beautiful region is bordered by the Mayacama Mountains to the east and the Sonoma Mountains to the west. Significant towns of the region include Glen Ellen, Sonoma and the hamlet of Kenwood.

The vineyards are planted among groves of ancient Valley oaks. Established aquifers and seasonal creeks provide water year-round. Once home to Native American tribes, pioneers during the California Gold Rush era, grizzlies, Steelhead trout, salmon, migrating birds, tule elk, and pronghorn, the valley is rich in human and ecological history.

Known for its unique terroir, the vineyards of Sonoma Valley have long benefited from the cool air that flows through the valley from the Pacific Ocean and San Pablo bay. The valley has ideal growing conditions for the world-class Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes of the region. Sonoma Valley winemakers have, for decades, transformed these grapes into fine wines that are unparalleled in body and flavor.

Discover a Few of Our Favorite Historical Wineries in the Sonoma Valley AVA

Established in 1857, Gundlach Bundschu is the oldest continuously operating family winery in California. The walls of the tasting room showcase the deep history of the winery. Surrounding grounds offer some of the best picnicking in the area. The tasting room is open daily 11 to 4:30.

Buena Vista Winery opened just three months prior to Gundlach Bundschu. Now owned by the Boisset Family, you can travel back in time with a tour in the retrofitted original building and caves. Stop by the tasting room any day between 10 am – 5 pm.

In operation since 1904, Kunde Winery is currently run by 4th and 5th generations of the Kunde family. The original winery was located a few miles from the winery you see today. Still, the place is steeped in a deep knowledge and unique history. Tasting room open daily, 10:30 am to 4:30.

Annadel Estate Winery was first established in 1880 by the Bolle family. The Bolle family home still stands. And the old stone walls of the original winery still grace the property. Purchased in 2007 and renovated over the past decade, this estate vineyard is a stunning example of Sonoma Valley history. Tasting is by appointment only.

We are thrilled to announce a new listing for Majestic Oaks Estate Winery in the Sonoma Valley AVA! View the listing: CLICK HERE