Vines of Character

To the source

Dancing Hares Vineyard is a uniquely planned, impeccably maintained five-acre estate vineyard tucked in the eastern hills of the Napa Valley, at the foot of Howell Mountain. The vineyard consists of two distinct parcels. The upper vineyard (2.5 acres) is planted on soils ranging from fractured volcanic rock to decomposing volcanic rock intermixed with red Aiken soil. This section is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot which in the Napa Valley reach the pinnacle of quality on these soils.

The lower vineyard (2.3 acres) is a virtual “bowl” of clay-loam soils, very well suited to Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Our Merlot is planted on the “morning side” of the bowl, preferring to be in the less intense sun of the morning and early af- ternoon. Our Cabernet Franc basks in the late afternoon sun “afternoon” (west-facing) side of the bowl. These two va- rieties, blended with ripe Cabernet Sauvignon and a bit of Petit Verdot, help to produce wines of depth and distinction, more layered and complex than Cabernet Sauvignon alone.

Three times each year, as we meet to blend the various vintages, there are portions, “blocks”, of our estate vineyard that are not chosen for the blend, whether for perceived quality or because they just don’t seem to fit well. If after several years the same block is repeatedly eliminated from the blend, it becomes a candidate for regrafting to another variety that may be more appealing. In 2005 we regrafted a block of cabernet sauvignon to petit verdot; in 2009 we regrafted a block of merlot to cabernet franc. It is this care and attention to detail on the part of Andy Erikson and Michel Rolland that keeps Dancing Hares wine fresh and inviting and the business of a vintner so interesting. We are honored to have these two gentlemen on our team.

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