Our Suacci Story

February 24, 2016

Suacci Vineyard, Sonoma Coast

The trip from our home in Santa Rosa to the Suacci Vineyard does not take long. Driving west from Santa Rosa on Highway 12, we arrive in Sebastopol, head south on Highway 116 for a mile and then meander south and west on rural roads for a few more miles before arriving at the vineyard. When we arrive in windswept Blucher Valley we feel a world away from anything. We are among a rugged landscape ideal for growing Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Our 2014 Suacci Vineyard Pinot Noir marks the fifth release from this vineyard. And for this newest release, we feel that we have made our best Suacci to date. With more fruit concentration than vintages past, the wine is multi-layered with deeply saturated red fruits, damp earth and that classic Suacci spice. It is our vision for the true potential of Pinot Noir in Sonoma County.

Looking down from the top of the Hill Block at Suacci Vineyard:

SuacciVineyard

As the years have gone by, our approach to crafting this wine has remained essentially the same with one major change. The Suacci Vineyard is divided into three blocks that ripen roughly one week apart. We have harvested clones 777 and 115 from the Apartment Block section of the vineyard since our first pick there in 2009. But in 2014 we were able to access a few rows of the prized Hill Block that we have been eyeing since we first laid eyes on the vineyard. We now have an opportunity to blend our Suacci Vineyard designate with a greater selection of material.

With a southwest aspect, the Hill Block is all clone 115. Grape cluster and berry sizes are small here, producing great fruit intensity. In 2014 we harvested about one week earlier than is normal for this block, destemmed all of the clusters, and ended up with a wine that is deep in color and saturated with flavor.

The Apartment Block provided us with more 115 as well as clone 777. These were harvested on the same day and with both the most sugar and the most acid we have ever had from that block. This good fortune gave us a wine with ripe cherry flavors and the backbone of acidity to frame all of that delicious fruit. As usual, we co-fermented the two clones and did about 30 percent whole cluster inclusion to give the wine a hint of spice on the aromatics.

Small clusters and long hang time are a hallmark of the Suacci Vineyard:

SuacciVineyard-grapes

The dividing line between the 2013 and 2014 vintages in California wine is readily apparent in this wine. From the moment the wine flowed into the barrel, we could tell that this vintage was something special. Darker in color, richer in flavor, and delicately balanced, our 2014 Pinot Noirs are destined to be the wines against which the previous and future vintages will be measured.

SUACCI VINEYARD STATS

Owners: John and Cathy Suacci
Year Planted: 2001
Acres: 6.5, planted in three distinct blocks: The Hill, Apartment and Front Field
Soil: Goldridge sandy loam
Clones: 115 and 777

2014 WINE DETAILS

Harvest dates: September 6 and 18
Brix at harvest: 24.1 and 24.4
Oak treatment: Remond cooperage, 33% new
Bottling: 88 cases bottled on July 22, 2015
Alcohol by volume: 13.9%
pH: 3.55
TA: 6.4

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