The Skipstone Vineyard encompasses 30 organically farmed acres forming an amphitheater shape surrounded by steep mountain slopes. An ambitious redevelopment of the vineyard was undertaken upon the discovery of the site, and new viticultural practices were implemented after “listening” to the vineyard through extensive evaluation.
The unique bowl shape of the isolated vineyard offers great diversity of terrain and soil types. Extensive soil studies were conducted throughout the vineyard allowing us to partition the site into a total of 42 microblocks so as to farm with precision on the single vine level. The entire annual production offers an exceptionally low average of 2 tons per acre. At the top of the "bowl" is an intense hillside vineyard known as “Los Rocas,” so named by the vineyard crew for its rocky soils, and is home to our oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines. This hillside faces southwest and is blessed with warm sun all day requiring precise canopy management to control sun exposure. This steep section of vineyard is outfitted with an irrigation system that can address blocks as small as 2-tenths of an acre, allowing for targeted watering of the vines only when and where it is needed.
A small amount of Viognier is planted to a hillside area that has east, west and south facing exposures resulting in great diversity of fruit character. Resting just below in the benchlands lies Skipstone’s old growth Merlot, and Pond Block, where Cabernet Franc excels.
Rounding out our pallette for blending is the plateau of the vineyard known as North Fault Line, including three acres each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. Adjacent is South Fault Line, planted completely to Cabernet Sauvignon in two distinct sub-blocks each with unique rootstock and clonal selections. The dynamic nature of this vineyard allows us many components to work with in blending in order to create an outstanding bottling every year.
“Dirty feet matter more than red fingers.”
Fahri Diner, Proprietor