In 1998, after two years in searching for a site that could be developed into a premium,world class vineyard,the goal was finally achieved. This site possesses the attributes for a unique terroir with features of steep slopes at high elevations of 1100 to 1550 feet above sea level with very rocky volcanic soils.
The vineyard has a unique microclimate next to Atlas Peak.It is above the morning fog which allows abundant sunshine throughout the day to ripen the grapes fully. Cooling westerly breezes come over the mountainridge midday and in the late afternoon the mountainridge shades the hot afternoon sun.
The vineyard was developed into 14 blocks with a total of 20 acres planted. Each block has varying row direction and slope and therefore each block is harvested separately for optimum ripeness. Tight vineyard spacing was used to give the vines more competition to improve grape quality. Rootstock and varietal recommendations from Paul Skinner, PhD, matched the soil to the rootstock to keep vigor low and balanced. With much research the highest quality, low yielding clones were used including many of the ENTAV-INRA clones from France. All five Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, as well as Syrah were planted. Cabernet Sauvignon accounts for approximately 70% of the vineyard plantings.
All wines are made from the estate grapes. 2003 was the first commercial vintage for Erba Mountainside Vineyards. We are very enthusiastic about the quality of the new releases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah to be released in 2006.