The Stones farm Cabernet grapes on 3.5 acres of their property which Norah says, “is the very best part” of the original vineyard site.
The vineyard is located on a geologic alluvial bench. Benchland fruit has a different and, some argue, more complex character, than grapes grown on the valley floor or up in the mountains. Because of its positioning, grapes ripen more slowly, revealing interesting flavors without excessive sugar. Its soil, a gravelly clay loam, infuses the vineyard’s grapes with a hint of minerality distinct to fruit grown in the Diamond Mountain District, a sub-appellation of the Napa Valley recognized American Viticultural Areas or AVA. Because the site is less rocky than many spots on Diamond Mountain, the soil holds more water, which means less frequent need for watering during the growing season — an advantage that results in smaller, intensely flavored berries.
Under the stewardship of longtime vineyard manager Mike Wolf, the Stone’s Diamond Mountain District vineyard features a medium to low vigor rootstock well matched to the property’s volcanic soil type. The root stocks are divided among two different clones which ripen differently hence offering blending possibilities. An additional 150 Malbec vines provide a fleshy, juicy addition to the site that will produce wines characteristically lean, mineral, and on the mountain side of the style spectrum.