' Field Guide - St. Clement
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Field Guide

Built on a legacy of highly respected wines produced in small quantities, St. Clement has nurtured long-term relationships with some of the best winegrowers in Napa Valley. With owned vineyards and grower relationships in Diamond Mountain, Howell Mountain, Mount Veeder, Rutherford and Spring Mountain, St. Clement sources from half of the Napa Valley's 33 different soil series and 100 different soil variations. The result is a wonderful collaboration and a diverse palate of flavors and tannin structures.
 
 

Abbott Vineyard

 
Abbot's Vineyard is located in Carneros, at the Southern tip of the Napa Valley, close to San Pablo Bay, where marine influences of morning fog and afternoon breezes create an ideal climate for growing Chardonnay and Merlot. The vineyard typically experiences a long, cool growing season, which ensures even ripening and balanced acidity in the grapes. 
     
Armstrong Ranch  

Armstrong Vineyard

 
Tom and Jane Armstrong planted 13 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1984. Although it's at a higher elevation, the vineyard is actually warmer than the valley floor most nights, but cooler during the day. Each harvest it's the first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard to come into the winery, often beating Chardonnay to the punch. The vineyard is meticulous. Luis Garibay, the one and only vineyard worker, knows every vine. I rarely have to ask the Byrnes to change something in the vineyard. They know how to grow grapes.
     
 

Bacigalupi Vineyard

 
This 10-acre vineyard located in Southern Napa is owned by William and Carolyn Bacigalupi. This area is subject to a slight marine influence, with fog and cooler temperatures than vineyards further up valley. Seasoned pro Ron Wicker, known as one of Napa's best vineyard managers, oversees the property. This vineyard, which makes up a significant portion of the Napa Valley Cabernet blend, usually experiences late bud break and a long cool growing season typically makes it one of the last vineyards to be harvested each year. Excellent exposure allows it to consistently produce wines with ripe fruit flavors and round tannins.
     
 

Bale Lane Vineyard

 
Located off Highway 29, just north of the winery, Bale Lane Vineyard was named after Edward Turner Bale, a self-professed doctor to General Vallejo's Mexican Army. In 1841, he owned 17,000 acres of Napa Valley land, including the current St. Clement property. Edward Bale's granddaughter Carolina Bale married pioneer vintner Charles Krug and the St. Clement property was part of her dowry. Bale Lane Vineyard was leased from the Glasser Family in 1973 to Beringer Vineyards. The soils consist of bale clay loam and lots of cobble stones, no doubt deposited by the Napa River which runs alongside the vineyard. The property is well suited to Sauvignon Blanc since it is in a warmer part of the valley. It ripens earlier in the growing season and develops great citrus, peach and grapefruit flavors that are distinct to this vineyard.
     
Ballard Vineyard  

Ballard Vineyard

 
We went into contract with the Ballards in 2002 before they planted the vineyard so that we could grow Petit Verdot and Merlot specifically for Oroppas. The majority of the vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, and the first vintage was in 2005. The Petit Verdot is fantastic, and a great addition to the Oroppas blend. Carroll made a name for himself as a film director and is still involved in the industry. His wife Christina is a self-taught viticulturist. Together they have transformed this property into a world-class vineyard, and one that will add yet another layer of complexity and dimension to Oroppas in the years to come.
     
 

Big Ranch Vineyard

 
Big Ranch Vineyard is located in the cool southern region of Napa Valley where the fog is usually the last to burn off during the growing season. The vineyard is one of our sources for Merlot, and although its soils can generally be described as shallow and gravelly, our grapes come from two blocks with distinctly different soil structures that yield distinct flavor profiles. The relative coolness of Big Ranch Vineyard means the fruit can hang a bit longer on the vine, developing full, mature flavors. Notes of Bing cherry and cranberry are accompanied by bright acidity and the solid, tannic structure most often found in cool-climate Merlot.
     
 

Gamble Ranch Vineyard

 
Spanning the area between the Yountville and Oakville Crossroads in Napa Valley, this sprawling vineyard is the source of some of our finest Sauvignon Blanc. Featuring several soil types, clones and trellising systems, the vineyard is carefully divided into smaller blocks according to microclimate and soil profile. Usually harvested in August, our Sauvignon Blanc comes from blocks that are cane pruned – leaving fruit more shaded, yielding green apple and melon flavors, and spur pruned – exposing the fruit more, resulting in citrus, lemon-lime and pineapple characteristics.
     
 

Progeny Vineyard

 
Progeny is a well-known mountain vineyard in the Mount Veeder AVA owned by Betty O'Shaughnessy. At approximately 16 acres, this stunning, steeply terraced vineyard sits at 1,400 feet. Facing northeast and featuring shallow and well-drained sedimentary based soils with low fertility, the site features low vigor vines that struggle for nutrients and produce small yields of intensely concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
     
 

Star Vineyard

 
Star Vineyard was founded in 1987 by the late Reginald B. Oliver and legendary Napa Valley winemaker Ric Forman. They teamed up with viticulturist David Abreu to ensure that their fruit and their vineyard was absolute perfection, and it is. Today, the vineyard is managed by Reg's son Jack. The Cabernet that we buy sits right on the crown of the vineyard in the sweet spot. The soil is lighter in our block and there's not much of it, which helps the vines self-regulate in terms of crop load and water needs. Research shows that Rutherford has more hot days than Calistoga, but without the extremes. It's warm but consistent, and produces wines with wonderfully silky tannins and vibrant fruit. This vineyard is the backbone of Oroppas year after year. It's the component that tames the tannins of Howell Mountain, and adds depth, complexity and aroma to the Diamond Mountain and Mount Veeder fruit.
     
 

Steinhauer Vineyard

 
Steinhauer Ranch is located 2,000 feet above the Napa Valley on the esteemed Howell Mountain. St. Clement produces a classic Cabernet Sauvignon from this vineyard, known for its elegance and superb tannin structure. The fruit for this Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a relatively flat section of the vineyard that is surrounded by Redwoods. As a result this vineyard experiences a very long, even growing season and is often the last picked at harvest.
     
 

Tournahu Vineyards

 
Located just north of the town of St. Helena, this Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is owned by Evelyn Tournahu and her family, with whom we've worked for over ten years. Tournahu features two very different soil types – one is loose and rocky and the other is a heavier Bale Clay Loam -- necessitating that we pick the vineyard twice at harvest time. The upper valley location makes Tournahu a reliable ripener, and we love the fruit for its soft, lush tannins and boysenberry/blue fruit flavors.
     
 

Verhey Vineyard

 
Owned by Jim Verhey, a grower who in his own words will "do what it takes" to produce exceptional fruit, this vineyard sits off Atlas Peak Road in the Coombsville area of Napa Valley. Though the amount of fruit we get from Verhey – all Cabernet Sauvignon – is small, it's worth the effort. The wine is consistently ultra-concentrated with big tannins, black currant flavors, and spicy, black pepper notes.
 
 
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