An original homestead ranch, the Mountain Estate was purchased by Fred and Juelle Fisher in 1973 (unplanted at the time). Today, the pioneering work to develop our mountain vineyards is awe inspiring to nearly every visitor.
Driven by the dream to produce distinctive, world-class wines, Fred and Juelle undertook an ambitious, decades-long development that has yielded several vineyard designated, estate grown wines of distinction.
Situated on the west side of the Mayacamas range, the Mountain Estate encompasses 30 acres of vineyard surrounded for miles by rugged, untamed hillsides. At the center of the property is our original, barn-style winery designed by the late architect and family friend William Turnbull. The winery was constructed in 1978 from timber grown and milled on site; in 1998, barrel aging caves were added, dug deep into the hillside below the winery and connected by a steep underground stairway.
Following more than four decades planting vineyards and adapting farming practices to the mountain climate and terrain around the winery, we launched our Mountain Estate Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon. The core of this wine is Cabernet Sauvignon grown on steep, west facing terraces that rise above the winery, reaching a towering elevation of 1,400 feet. Other contiguous vineyard blocks yielding fruit of mature character and balance incorporate a great diversity of soils and exposures, providing additional complexity and unmistakable mountain terroir.
Planted in 1999, our Mountain Estate Vineyard, Chardonnay, is rooted in steep, rocky soils at 1,300 feet elevation, and planted with the 45 degree fall line on our only northeast-facing slope. Owing to this particular aspect, these vines receive cooler morning light and minimal exposure to any hot afternoon sun, which has proven ideal for the gradual ripening and maximum maturation of Chardonnay grapes.
First planted in 1973 to Old Wente clone Chardonnay, Whitney's Vineyard grows at 1,000 feet elevation on a gravelly, gently sloping, southwestern facing hillside. Owing to its mountain heritage and low-nutrient soils, this site produces tiny clusters of tightly packed ‘hens and chicks’ (berries of wide ranging size) yielding wines that boast brilliant minerality and classic Chardonnay character. This site was replanted in two phases with greater vine density, establishing new vines in 2013 and 2016, all grafted to original clonal material.
First planted in 1973, Wedding Vineyard graces a south facing slope in front of our original Mountain Estate winery, running the length of our secluded estate. Nine acres were replanted in 2002 under the careful guidance of David Abreu: seven blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon (clone 337 and See clone, among others), one block of Petit Verdot (clone 400) and one block of Cabernet Franc (clone 327). The final remaining block was replanted in 2010 (Wiemer clone).
Scratched into a ravine and farmed entirely by hand due to the severe slopes, this small vineyard is composed of rare tuff (volcanic ash) soil that produces Syrah of intense concentration and varietal distinction. Extremely low yields limit production of this wine to just a handful of barrels each vintage.