The Hop Barn Hill Syrah Vineyard was planted in 1996 on a clay loam slope near the old hop barn neighboring our winemaking area and tasting room. These heavy clay soils are perfect to reduce the vigor common to Syrah vines, forcing the plants to focus their efforts into the fruit versus their canopy or root systems. The grapevines are planted in four separate blocks; one meter by two meters apart, on less than an acre of land which yields no more than 3 barrels each vintage.
The 2019 season was overall very cool with record rainfall for
Sonoma County in February. The vines however were not affected
by this because they were still dormant at the time. Similar to the
2018 season, spring and summer were moderate in temperature and
ripening developed gradually and under minimal stress. This year
was in fact so similar to 2018 that we began harvest the same day, on
September 10th. Unfortunately, another wildfire hit the region at the
end of October, but luckily none of our vineyards were affected. The
winery and many employees were evacuated, but we were able to
keep an eye on the new vintage with a skeleton crew. The quality
was not impacted, and we are very excited at the concentration of
flavors in this vintage.