John Hervey’s vineyard stretches across ten acres, delicately tracing the slope above Atascadero Creek in the hills just south of Sebastopol. It is tucked away in the southwest corner of the Russian River Valley, where the sandy blond soil known as Goldridge is plentiful. This coveted soil is all that’s left of an ancient inland sea that existed five million years ago. Today, this distinctive soil is renowned for its impact on the Pinot Noir grapes of Sonoma County.
The characteristics of this distinct soil create stress on the vines and allow deep root penetration, creating an ideal environment for yielding high-quality wine grapes. The subsoil is comprised of a combination of loam and fractured sandstone that boasts superior drainage and low soil fertility. This, combined with the moist, foggy air, creates an environment where vines thrive with little to no irrigation.
Also unique to this nook of the Russian River Valley are the weather patterns, which are often ten to fifteen degrees cooler than neighboring towns such as Healdsburg. Fog creeps over the vineyard, lingering until noon and returning in the late afternoon to cool the vines with a breath of fresh coastal air. The combination of this mesoclimate and soil create resilient vines, high-quality grapes, and award-winning wines.