You know a vineyard is pretty special when two winemakers like Brad Grimes (Abreu Vineyards) and Sam Kaplan (Arkenstone, Memento Mori, Nine Suns) advise you to check it out. We were asking around about Pritchard Hill – looking for a new single vineyard wine source -- and both Brad and Sam mentioned Houyi Vineyard. We hadn’t released a new single vineyard since 2005 (Dr. Crane). To find another one, the planets had to align. Obviously the site had to be capable of making a wine that can stand on its own, but it also had to be on par with yet stand out from our other SV wines. And the grower had to be really committed -- to the site, to us -- for the long term. We found it all in Houyi. Sitting nearly at the top of Pritchard Hill, Houyi is owned by the Chang family, who bought it in 2010. (You should check out their winery, Nine Suns.) It’s a fantastically complicated site – everything on Pritchard is – and the Changs farm it with no holds barred. They’re much more concerned with growing the best fruit they can than with trying to save a dime. Our kind of partner. We got our first fruit from the vineyard in 2013.
Pritchard Hill on the eastern side of Napa Valley is a special neighborhood, with some of the best known names in Napa wine. At an elevation of nearly 1300 feet, Houyi Vineyard sits above the fog line, its vines soaking in the morning sun. The site – stunningly beautiful -- is farmed by David Abreu, with a crew dedicated exclusively to this vineyard. The soils here are unimaginably rocky – requiring significant resources to plant and farm. We have about seven acres under contract – all Cabernet Sauvignon – with different exposures, slopes, rootstocks, clones. It all gets picked, sorted and fermented separately. One vineyard site…many different wines.