“When drinking water, remember the source:” an old Chinese proverb that could apply to wine as easily as water. Located in what used to be St. Helena’s “Chinatown” in the 1920’s, Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard now sits in a residential neighborhood on the west side of town, an unassuming site bordered by an old riverbed and a rock quarry. The vineyard was originally planted in 1858 by San Franciscan Dr. George Belden Crane; today it is owned by Andy Beckstoffer, who replanted it to multiple clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc in 1998. With extremely well-drained, gravelly soils, Beckstoffer Dr. Crane is undoubtedly one of the finest vineyards in St. Helena, and its wines are unmistakable. “You know it when you smell it,” says Winemaker Benoit Touquette. “Dr. Crane has everything you look for -- minerality, complexity, excellent fruit definition, good tannin structure; a complete wine with many layers.” Realm’s Dr. Crane is predominantly (@ 95%) Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 6 blended with a small amount of Petit Verdot.
Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard sits amidst a small residential neighborhood of western St. Helena, across the street from an elementary school and bordered on the northwest by an old river bed and rock quarry. Its soils – primarily bale loam and river wash – are extremely rocky and well-drained, and its warm, valley floor microclimate lends itself to the Bordeaux varietals that are grown there: primarily Cabernet Sauvignon with a few rows of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.