The vineyard then and now.
In June, 2017, we purchased Barbed Oak Vineyard, realizing our dream to literally and figuratively return to our roots as we created a place to reflect on the bounty life provided us—and to create a place for our family and friends to spend time together.
The vineyard, which was planted in the late 1990s, was originally farmed to produce volumes of premium quality grapes that large wineries used to blend with their own grapes. In the mid-2000s, the vineyard farming adopted a new direction. The farming practices were changed to produce the highest quality grapes, seeking quality yields over quantity.
The vineyard was strengthened and now includes three Pinot Noir clones—Calera, Swan and Pommard were grafted to existing root stock, for you wine geeks, and a Chardonnay clone—Dijon 95, also onto existing root stock, adding power and structure to wines that the fruit produced. But expanding the vineyard grapes with top quality vines wasn’t enough.
Highest farming practices include irrigating the vines sparingly, making them work harder to produce even better fruit. Management of the canopy is a constant process during ripining—pulling leaves to achieve the proper exposure of fruit to the sun. Dropping fruit—culling bunches of grapes, reducing the yield to further strengthen the quality of the grapes left on the vine.
It was—and is—labor intensive. But these farming practices have resulted in phenomenal, luscious juice.
Which led to the thought: Let’s not sell all our grapes for artisan winemakers to make award winning wines with our grapes. With juice that good, let’s keep some to make wines for family and friends!
We rechristened the vineyard with the name Henry David Vineyards, leaving open the possibility of acquiring other vineyards and expanding our offerings.
Henry David Vineyards will continue employing premium farming practices to produce premium wines.