The seemingly basic task of pruning is actually one of the most important – determining the yield, spacing, even the quality of the next vintage. Since November, our crew has been hard at work cutting back last year’s canes.

These are a few shots of our last Cabernet block (Clone 4) to get the shear treatment.

dormantsmallThe vines in their dormant stage. Once the leaves fall, pruning can get underway.

machineprunesmallWe prune in stages, first removing the top half of the canes, which sometimes involves wresting the canes off of the trellis wire.

BrianprunesmallBrian making the final cut.

By |2017-05-19T21:03:38-07:00January 20th, 2014|Grapegrowing|Comments Off on Pruning

2014 Cabernet Shootout!

1902SMALLERWe are so proud of our newest vintage of Estate 1856 Wines!  Our 2011 Bordeaux Blend and 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon “Barrel Reserve” were both placed in the top 32 wines out of 332 JUST Cabernet containing entries earning GOLD MEDALS!  The tasting of these top wines was held at the Old Mint in San Francisco and we enjoyed pouring these wines for enthusiastic wine lovers!  This event is coordinated by Affairs of the Vine and sponsored by the Bay Area Wine Society.


Estate 1856 2011 Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Sonoma County, $42.00
55 cases produced
Female: Seductive dark aromas of plum, rhubarb and pepper lead to an intense palate. Sweet, dark fruit with spice in the mouth. The finish has a lovely herbal quality that lingers on the palate with silky tannins. 90

Male: Lovely, classic nose which needs a little coaxing at first but is definitely worth the wait. Very smooth, lovely and balanced in the mouth. Just enough tannin. It’s very harmonious and invites another taste, which is just as wonderful as the previous ones. 91

Estate 1856 2011 Bordeaux Blend
Sonoma County, $38.00
105 cases produced
Female: Dark fruit and black tea aromas and flavors capture the senses. Cassis, tobacco spice and a hint of menthol swirl on the palate. Fresh and lively with nice oak integration. 90

Male: Punch of fruit with an herbal left hook. Black cherry, cola, olive, and iodine aromatics with a slight smoky undertone. Big tannins and deep fruit intensity on the palate. Black plum and bitter chocolate flavors with an intense but well balanced blend of tannin and acidity. Lingering cola, coffee and toffee on the nice long finish. 93
By |2017-05-19T21:03:38-07:00January 19th, 2014|Wine Awards, Wine Tasting & Reviews|Comments Off on 2014 Cabernet Shootout!

Water Concerns

New Year Vineyard Update: Our crew has been pruning since November and has finished about 85% of our 75 acres of winegrapes. This is definitely earlier than normal due to the lack of rain days that normally stop work in the vineyard. But for those who haven’t heard…we are definitely watching our weather forecasts closely….looking for rain…with 2013 now named the “driest calendar year on record”.

lakesonoma1Check out the Sonoma County Water Agency webpage for more information!

By |2017-05-19T21:03:38-07:00January 11th, 2013|Grapegrowing|Comments Off on Water Concerns
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