The final post for this month is about Syrah and is a tale of two vineyards. We have four acres planted between two very different locations: our home ranch in Dry Creek Valley and on a family-owned mountain side high above Alexander Valley. Rhone varietals have been planted in the valley for more than 30 years beginning with the most well-known: Syrah. California acreage totals 19,000 (!) and in Sonoma County there are 1890 acres. In Dry Creek Valley the acreage is smaller, so I’ll estimate under 200 acres. John Pedroncelli and vineyard manager Lance Blakeley planted 2 acres in 1998 and the varietal has done quite well, thriving in its own microclimate of hillside and rocky soil on our home ranch vineyard. The second vineyard was planted in 2003 on the Ridge Ranch, owned by John and Christine with roots going back to 1963 when Christine’s father purchased the property, with 2 acres high above the Alexander Valley. We combine the two vineyards into our friends.red where they are a welcome addition with the characteristic fruity quality helps underscore our red wine blend. A toast to our varietals as we end the month on a Syrah note-from my Dino to yours.
While the Portuguese varietals can be seen in fall splendor at the top, our Syrah vineyards are the green bands at the bottom-this is on our home ranch.