Winegrowing in Alexander Valley
Most of our vines are older than us.
Justin – Wines driven by soils only exist from exceptional vineyards. The location is crucial... Years of understanding your land, soil variations, rootstock adaptation and clonal selection – and of course, climate and the human hand all must complement each other.
Karin – A rich deep connection with the land is a personal relationship. Our property, it’s a part of us, together. There are those who own land but never get out of their trucks to walk it. You have to feel the rhythm, before you can comprehend where you’re standing.
We grow winegrapes for winemakers we respect.
Justin – Many of us in Alexander Valley are winegrowers and sell to local wineries. We grow 70-acres of wine grapes selling 92% to local wineries. 27 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 22 acres of Chardonnay, 15 acres of Merlot, 1 acre each of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec alongside 1/2 acre Scheurebe. A new vineyard planted in 2012 and southern-Rhone project lies in 4 acres of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, and Rousanne.
Karin – Within a selection of thirteen soil types we sustainably manage our viticulture through the ideology of balance. Deficit irrigation, hand-selected shoot positioning and leaf management, planting cover crops, mulch, beneficial insects and composting are one of many practices we have been utilizing since 1995. I would consider our winery relationships sustainable... they run as deep as the roots of our vines.
In 2001 we began Garden Creek winery.
Karin – Our wine begins in the vineyard. We select clusters, vine by vine, within a block chosen by taste, acidity, and structure. This composition is driven by terroir; geology, microclimate, drainage, slope faces and the individual… We are strong believers... great wines come from one place, a place. They should speak an unmistakable originality.
Justin – My dad bought this property for its’ beauty. This site is incredibly unique… the diversity of soils and microclimates. Lying along the illustrious Mayacamas Mountains... Our wines are driven by the best from our vineyards, best soil selection and flavors.
A new frontier… Anderson Valley in Mendocino County awaits us.
Karin – An hour north and a bit of heaven. The clock seems to move a bit slower. Justin and I bought a 160-acre property in 2005 with an elevation ranging from 1400 to 1900’. A place of quiet, solitude and great possibility for wine grapes. Above the fogline with the Pacific Ocean on the horizon.
Justin – Anderson Valley dirt has new challenges and potential. High elevation, gold ridge soils. Farming grapes yet in very different climate for us. It’s that unknown that Karin and I love to adventure into. New vineyards are planned for 2017.
Our crew is family.
Justin – I have known the Gonzalez family since I was a child. Today Dagoberto, José, Esteban, Benjamin and Carlos are the main crew. They have watched me grow up, teasing me with habineros… Today we count on each other as men.
Karin – Fidel Gonzalez began working for Justin’s dad in 1964. Leaving his wife in Porullo, Yuriria Mexico with his seven children. All five sons joined us in the early 1980’s. Now his grandson, Jose Jr., 3rd generation — is with us.
Justin – Fidel, today in his late 70’s visits his sons, daughters and grandchildren at our ranch. Stubbornly he will work in the vineyards alongside his sons during his visits as he has been for the last 50-years. He’s still in charge.