Bennett Valley AVA – Sonoma County
We source our grapes from one vineyard in Bennett Valley. Bennett Valley is a cool-climate AVA, south of Santa Rosa. It is usually 10 degrees cooler here than other parts of Sonoma, at any one time. The appellation is defined by three mountains: Taylor to the West, Bennett to the East and Sonoma to the South. A gap in the mountains permits cool coastal fog and wind to pour into the valley on a regular basis throughout the growing season.
Vineyard yields are generally modest compared to other areas as growers are required to make one or more passes thru the vineyard to ensure that crop loads are
appropriate and the canopy is in balance.
One upside of cool climate winegrowing is that grapes maintain good natural acidity at maturity –the main reason I love sourcing my Sauvignon Blanc from here. The
grapes also benefit from extended "hang time". Hang time is widely considered to be one of the determinative factors responsible for the concentration and complexity
of flavors in wine and is also responsible for softening undesirable bitter phenolics.
The 2017 vintage is one that will be remembered for its extremes. The winter brought much needed rain to Sonoma County as storms raged weekly, flooding the area. It was wet everywhere. A deep cold front in spring delayed bloom and fruit set, a reversal from the earlier bud break from the past several years. Once the sun returned, warm weather persisted throughout the entire growing season, with an unusual number of heat spikes, leading to a short, condensed, growing season and early harvest.