With decades of grape-growing history, the VanZ Vineyard is one of the few vineyards left in the city of St. Helena
Located a stone’s throw from downtown, this dry-farmed vineyard produces small yield and very small berries
The intense berries produce a mountain of black fruit flavors with tons of depth, flavor and rich, dark color
Celebrating 130 years of winemaking history, Freemark Abbey is thrilled to offer a wine from this historical vineyard
Celebrating 130 years of winemaking history, Freemark Abbey is thrilled to offer a wine from the historical VanZ vineyard. Located northeast and a stone’s throw from downtown St. Helena, this mature Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is dry farmed, producing low yields and very concentrated fruit. Warm and very well-drained soil, the vineyard ripens relatively early, producing very small berries that impart rich, dark black fruit flavors coupled with very dark color.
Wine is unfiltered
Single vineyard wine
Wine was dry farmed
Wine is 100% estate grown and bottled
Winemaker, Freemark Abbey
After graduating from college, I wanted to make Cabernet Sauvignon. I took a position with Freemark Abbey Winery in 1980 as the assistant winemaker; I couldn't have landed in a better spot to learn my craft. After two vintages, I was transfered by the mutual ownership to Rutherford Hill Winery to be the associate winemaker. In 1985, the partners invited me back to become the winemaker at Freemark Abbey Winery. I have been in charge of the Freemark Abbey wines from that point to present.
Country born: United States
Education: M.S. in Food Science at U.C. Davis 1980
Years in the wine industry: 30+ years
I like comparing winemaking to cooking. Just as a chef would grow his own herb and vegetable garden, it is ideal for a winemaker to actively participate in the vineyard, see the grape growing through harvest, and bring this abundantly juicy produce to the winery, our kitchen, to make a full-bodied wine with layers of flavor. To develop the flavors that we want, it is important to use the right varietal, rootstock, and selected clone for the soil. Then the appropriate trellis system with shoot positioning must be used to maximize the most desirable effects of the sun, turning that precious sunlight into wine.
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