The finest wines have always been the product of place, soil, terroir, elevation:
the tiniest fraction of all wines of the vintage. This is extreme farming...150 days here is like 180 days on the valley floor: the vines don’t shut down. The higher you get, the sun radiates more...and these vineyards are at an amazing 2400 feet...softer tannins, higher acids. Wines from altitude: richer extraction, higher intensity of phenolics and photosynthesis, UV penetration; all altitude-specific qualities yielding rounded, elegant, beautifully balanced examples of extract and finesse. From the geographical perspective alone, this is one of the most special places in California. From the vignerons perspective, this far northern end of the Mayacamas Range offers persistent sunshine without too much heat enabling balanced phenolics of brilliant ripeness and acidity. Virtually nothing intrudes between the mountain and the Pacific Coast in this remote new wine region.
Ten years ago mountain pioneer Bruce Byrd began climbing these peaks and exploring these volcanic soils.
Byrd’s vineyard is blessed with mountainous terrain: marine sediments, shale, sandstone, chert, and gravel, These are the highest-elevation vineyards in California. So far above the fog line, the cooler temperatures produce smaller, significantly more intense berries and phenolics. Occasional temperature inversions hasten ripening and stave off frost. This quality and purity of ripeness and intensity of flavor shines in our Byrd Vineyard wines.
Above the fog line at this high altitude, our soils have no shortage of volcanic ferrous content... after all, this is the extension of the Mayacamas Range south to Mount Veeder and Monte Rosso. We really like the amazing soils. It’s red volcanic loam with a lot of pebble-sized gravel in it. You really get the clarity of the fruit at this elevation. “Pine Mountain (Byrd’s new AVA neighbor) will be recognized as one of the top regions in California for Cabernet”, says Hugh Reimers.