Planted between 1975-82, the Renaissance vineyard is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills at altitudes of 1700-2350 feet (Yuba County). This is a real mountain vineyard: the vines are planted on slopes with gradations that vary from gentle to breathtaking; the complex topography offers all possible sun exposures and a myriad of micro-climates. The basic quality and character of our Estate Bottled wines distinctly express this terroir.
The red top soil layer (“Dobbins Loam” and decomposed granite) is very shallow, rich in iron, and poor in organic matter. The subsoil is very rocky Gabbro/Diorite from volcanic/ocean-floor origin, mixed with quartz, multiple mineral-rich variations of clay, and volcanic ash.
Continental, with cold, rainy winters (51” yearly average), very dry summers with hot days and cool nights caused by cool air that wafts down from the higher Sierras, and long, dry falls that usually extend into late November, early December.
Unusually for California, our vines are “own-rooted” (i.e.not grafted onto any rootstock). Varieties are planted in carefully selected micro-climates and soil combinations to maximize their potential. We practice organic viticulture, and use no pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides other than elemental sulfur. The combination of poor soils and old vines limits our yields to 1.0-1.5 tons per acre on average. (In comparison, Napa Valley averages 5 tons per acre – see http://www.napanow.com/wine.statistics.html.)
Our unique terroir leaves its unmistakable signature in each of our wines. Regardless of the variety, all tend to be concentrated, intensely flavored, with pure fruit aromas, a marked spicy/minerally side, and a powerful structure.
Consequently, Renaissance wines have outstanding aging potential, and increase in complexity and harmony over the course of many years in the bottle. Even our white wines age exceedingly well, developing rich honeyed, nutty flavors with extended cellaring.