The Windhorse Vineyard lies in the southwestern-most corner of the Russian River Valley, several miles south west of the town of Sebastopol. This cool region, where rolling hills and majestic redwoods mark the northern edge of the Petaluma Gap, was once home to apple orchards and dairy farms.
The vineyard sits on a small, protected shelf that is part of a low hill above the tiny Barnett Valley. The soils are West Sonoma County’s famous Goldridge soils, defined by their fine, yellow, almost sandy appearance, low fertility, and excellent drainage. The low elevation vineyard is influenced by the cool marine air brought in from the Pacific Ocean by the Petaluma Wind Gap. This cool climate can make it challenging to ripen grapes; however, patience and experience will tease out a small yet robust crop of intensely concentrated grapes.
The lion’s share of this tiny 1.5 acre vineyard was planted to Martini clone in the early 1970s as an experimental plot. The vineyard was interplanted with a mix of Dijon clones in the late 1990s. As a result, the land functions like two vineyards in one – with the older, long established Martini clone vines having very different viticultural needs than the more recent plantings, and even requiring multiple picks in a diminutive vineyard. Its this unique combination of two blocks, however, that creates an elegant, compelling and well balanced wine