Planted in the mid-1880s, the Joaquin Jose Vineyard is one of the oldest vineyards in the state and certainly one of the only vineyards located inside a State Park.
Visually stunning, the grapevines are old, gnarled knee-high vines that grow out of white-sand dunes, on a spit of land that juts out into the Sacramento River delta. Since the root pest, Phylloxera does not live in sand, these are also some of the only vines that are grown on their own roots rather than grafting onto Phyloxera-resistant rootstock like most grapevines around the world.
The vineyard was slated for removal when the land was bought and converted to a State Park wetlands. However, our good friend Matt Cline launched a campaign to save the historic vineyard and finally was successful in saving the vines.
Grapes from this area are always harvested early and in this case, we harvested the grapes on September 4th.
We hand-sorted the grapes on a conveyor belt on the way to the de-stemmer to eliminate any imperfect fruit. The crushed grapes were then fermented using the natural yeast population on the surface of the grapes (rather than commercial dried yeasts) to conduct the fermentation.
At dryness, the wine was gently pressed in a membrane press and pumped into traditional 60-gallon oak barrels. The wine was aged for 14 months in one-year or older French oak barrels to maintain the vibrancy of the fruit.
Color: Dark Purple
Aroma: Black currant, blackberry, hints of pomegranate, violets, minerals, pencil lead.
Taste: Vibrant black cherry, blackberry, hints of pomegranate, floral notes of rose and violets. Bright acidity with round tannins and a velvety mouthfeel. Long, sweet finish of black currant and black cherry fruit and spice.