Storm Haven Vineyard
Perched on the outflow of an upper mountain pass and nestled at upper base of Peachcliff mountain, this vineyard has very unique growing conditions. Broad Southern exposure provides excellent ripening during the day, cool air flows down overnight from the mountains to the North, cooling the grapes, retaining acidity and freshness.
The soil varies substantially in the 5 acre vineyard. Upper sections show a layer of clay and coarse sand over well drained gravel. The lower Southern end is straight gravel with rotten granite and limestone bands. Several areas of the land required significant soil remediation and recovery when the property was acquired in 2010. This accounts for the variation in planting times and vine age. Very poor nutrient throughout the property forces roots deep and the vines produce small concentrated berries with significant complexity and terroir character. Crop levels throughout are very low by any standards and typically range between 0.8-1.3kg per vine (a maximum of just over 1.5 tons per acre on conventional vine spacing)
Amelia Block (1)
Soil shows more substantial clay with gravel and large stones 36” below the surface. This block was historically planted with Gewurztraminer in 2006 but redeveloped with Pinot Noir in 2014. Most 2006 plantings had trunks regrown and major rejuvenation in 2010 due to lingering winter damage when we took over the property. This block owes its’ name and existence to Alan’s wife Amelia who advocated for the injured Gewurztraminer vines and proposed recovering the block instead of replanting to more Riesling. In 2014 after 4 years of very limited yields, we made the difficult decision to replant Amelia Block with a variety better suited to the climate. The block now consists of Pinot Noir in equal parts Clone 828, 777 and 114 all on 3309 rootstock. Our first commercial crop is anticipated in 2017.
40” of extremely coarse sand lay on top of gravel and fractured rock. Large deposits of rotten granite are mixed in the gravel. The sand drains extremely well so vines took extra time to develop deep roots and access moisture in the gravel layer. 1450 Riesling Clone 21B vines on 3309 make up this block planted in 2010 (75%) and 2012 (25%). The first significant commercial crop was the 2013 vintage.
This block is part of the lower half of the property, excellent Southern slope with a gentle fall away to the West. Soil is almost entirely gravel with course sand and some clay. Large deposits of rotten granite and granite boulders litter the block and make the soil very difficult to perform ground work in. 1250 Riesling vines, clone 21B on 3309 rootstock were planted in 2006. The roots of these vines are reaching over 25 feet already as they drive down to find moisture and nutrient in the complex soils.
Soil and aspect are very similar to Block 3 with lower levels of clay and more granite deposits. 900 Pinot Noir vines were planted in 2010 and 2012. Dijon Clones are a mix of 667, 115 and 828 all on 3309 rootstock.
Gibson Block (5)
This block had older vines removed in 2011 and was left fallow until the spring of 2013. Significant composting and soil amendments were applied to recover a strip through the middle that had been poorly contoured when the vineyard was originally constructed under previous ownership. It will be several years before the soil evens out in this block but we deemed it sufficiently recovered in 2013 to start planting and added 1500 Riesling vines, all clone 21B on 3309 rootstock. This block is dedicated to Scruffy Gibson Dickinson, the black and tan terrier who worked tirelessly to rid the property of a vermin infestation that was damaging root systems. Scruffy passed away on Thanksgiving weekend in 2011 possibly out of boredom because he had done such a good job and there were no vermin left. The potential of this block is very exciting. A high volume of rotten granite, limestone deposits and coarse gravel make up the deep, well-drained soil. This is the most south facing block of the property and should grow excellent Riesling.