We got the opportunity to join a Syrah seminar and vineyard tour with Denner Vineyards winemaker, Anthony Yount. But, it gets better, we also had the assistant winemaker, Mike and the vineyard manager, Aaron along to share in the fun. Oh, but wait, there’s more! Our companions for this event were Faith Wells of Hospice du Rhone (only the biggest Rhone event of the year) and William Allen of Simple Hedonisms wine blog (awesome wine knowledge out of Sonoma and beyond).
Here’s a little tidbit of the vineyard walk:
Needless to say, we were in fabulous company and felt incredibly privileged to be a part of this event. We got a ton of footage while at Denner for 6 hours! We’ll be doing a series of these videos so that we can try to let you in on the experience from our perspective.
To give you an idea of what went on, we started walking the vineyard, mind you they’ve got over 100 acres planted, so this is no small stroll! We focused on four blocks of Syrah, all very different for different reasons. One thing that can affect the end product that ends up in your glass is the soil. The amount of organic matter, rock, and water in the soil affects how the vines grow and what they produce. That may sound obvious, but the structure of the soil actually determines where the roots go to look for nutrients and water. To demonstrate this, Dennner dug some 5′ deep soil pits right next to the vines. The first block we stopped at was what they call C174. The top 3-4 feet of the soil is all clay and organi matter, so the roots don’t have to look very far for food and water. This produces a fertile, humid soil environment which ends up in a nice fruit forward wine.
The next block we went to was C383, from France, brought over by the owners of Tablas Creek. These vines were growing up on top of the hill, planted in the calcareous soil, which is mudstone and limestone. We’ll let Aaron and Anthony tell you all about it…
Video 2 of 2 – Aaron and Anthony talking about the wine and the grapes:
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