Wine Talk

Snooth User: outthere

GDP latest article on Old Hill Ranch

Posted by outthere, Nov 13, 2013.

Greg Dal Paz posted a new article today on his stop at Old Hill Ranch during his latest jaunt out to California. I have had the pleasure of touring Old Hill Ranch with Will Bucklin and tasting his great wines. There were a couple things Greg left out of his article.

When the Bucklin family bought the property the vineyard was overrun with blackberries. Will spent the first couple years clearing the brush and exposing the ancient vines. He also is an organic farmer and the only difference between the farming now and that of back in the 1800's is the use of a combustion engine to pull the plow rather than a team of horses.

Great place, loaded with history. If you are ever on Hwy 12 heading into Sonoma from Kenwood you can see Old Hill Ranch on your right just before you come to BR Cohn Winery. The property butts up against the winery and stretches between Hwy 12 and Arnold Drive in Glen Ellen.

His Grenache is his pride and joy. 120 year old Grenache Vine

 

Farmer Will, about as old school as they get. Note the wide 10' x 7', unique to Sonoma Valley, row spacing. It was done that way to accommodate a team of two horses pulling a plow.

Replies

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Nov 14, 2013.

Great pictures, and they are even right side up. 

I must have driven past there a bunch of times, but never really paid attention.  Going to have to go out of my way the next time I get up that way.  Which is looking like 12/7 for the holiday tasting at Mauritson--and I have an extra ticket if someone wants to meet me there.  Library Zin and they're bottling the Petite Sirah on its own again--which means it turned out well, or they would limit it to blending. 

I really like guys like Bucklin and Preston who go their own way.  And I do love grenache, so looks like I need to get on some of that Bucklin. I'm really interested in some of the Petite Sirah--I'd like to lay some down and see what it looks like in 20 years.

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Reply by EMark, Nov 14, 2013.

I agree that GDP's article is outstanding.  It looks like I have a 2007 Ravenswood from Old Hill in my inventory.  

I went to the winery web site, and it looks like my credit card is going to get hit, again.  OT, it looks like they are selling a 2004 Syrah for $30.  Do you know anything about that?  It also looks like the Rose and the Mixed Blacks are sold out.  Not really a big deal.  I'm sure I'm going to be happy with what is in stock.

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Reply by outthere, Nov 14, 2013.

Mark, I haven't tasted his Syrah. It is not estate fruit but from Bald Mountain Ranch which straddles 3 appellations, Mt Veeder, Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, at an elevation of about 2,000'. The Rosé is available locally at retail. Try the Grenache and Zinfandel for sure.

I had an '08 Ravenswood Old Hill the day I went on that tour and it was fantastic. That '07 should just be entering it's drinking window about now.

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Reply by EMark, Nov 14, 2013.

Thanks, OT.  I looked at that vineyard map that is linked in GDP's article an, sure enough, there aren't any Syrah vines in Old Hill.  I'm sure I'll be ordering a variety pack.


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