Sonoma Coast Appellation
The Sonoma Coast Appellation is large and runs from the Pacific Ocean to San Pablo Bay to the Mendocino County border. Black Kite Cellars sources its fruit from two distinctive parts of this appellation. We make wine from Gap’s Crown Vineyard. This vineyard is located on the lower steps of Sonoma Mountain just above Petaluma Hill Road. It is an east facing vineyard tremendously influenced by the marine elements – cool weather, wind and fog coming though the Petaluma Gap – a gap’s in the Coastal Range. In the future this vineyard will become part of the Petaluma Gap sub-appellation once it is officially designated.
Our second future source of grapes will be from a vineyard we are developing in Freestone. Freestone is in the Western part of Sonoma County approximately four miles from the Pacific Ocean and is located at the cross roads of Bohemian and Bodega Highways. The first release from this vineyard will be 2018. This area is wild and windswept and truly coastal impacted daily by the ebb and flow of the Pacific Ocean. Freestone is a bucolic and pastoral valley which is slightly sheltered from the relentless impact of the ocean. It basks in the sunshine when it breaks through the fog. It is cold here – our experiment here will be to prove the adage that pinot is greatest when the vines live on the edge of disaster.
Clones: Pinot Noir: Dijon 777; Chardonnay: Dijon 95, 76 and 15
Row Orientation: North/ South
Soil: Rocky, brown clay
Altitude at top: 400 feet and 100 feet above the Santa Rosa Plain
Trellising: Vertical shoot position. Cane pruned
Unique attributes: Lies on the lower slopes of Sonoma Mountain facing southwest. The vineyard slowly warms up during the day after morning fog, and experiences the coastal winds coming through the Petaluma Gap, creating wonderfully long hangtimes.
Clones: Pinot Noir: 2A, 828, Pommard, Calera; Chardonnay: Dijon 95, Hyde Wente/Musque
Root Stock: 101-14
Row Orientation: NW/SW
Altitude at the top: 150
Unique attributes: Four miles from the Pacific Ocean. Very cool climate, with cool mornings and afternoon breezes from the nearby ocean leading to long hangtimes.