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Suacci Family Vineyard

The Suacci Family Vineyard is a 6.5 acre vineyard that is tucked away in the especially cool Blucher Valley just southwest of Sebastopol, and about 10 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Locally recognized as the Sebastopol Hills sub-region this vineyard is located within both the Russian River and Sonoma Coast American Viticulture Areas, where it meets up with the Petaluma Gap to the south. The vineyard was planted in 2001 to Pinot Noir using Dijon Clones 115 and 777 on 101-14 rootstock in Blucher and Goldridge soils, southern facing aspect, and elevations ranging from 174ft to 260ft.

This vineyard's macroclimate is known for its coastal influence with short windows of warm temperatures in the middle of the day, followed once again by assertive ocean breezes arriving consistently in the early afternoons.  These conditions can offer quite a challenge to growers, but often reward them with tiny uneven “hens and chicks” clusters of intense, layered flavored fruit; mature tannins, and vibrant acidity which create wine worthy of aging.  Average yields for the vineyard are approximately 2.25 tons/acre of tiny clusters that John Suacci dubs “grenades”.  

Manchester Ridge Vineyard

Photography by : Viera Photographics

Photography by : Viera Photographics

The Manchester Ridge Vineyard - Piper Ranch is located in the remote Mendocino Ridge American Viticulture Area, near the Sonoma County line.  This rugged and diverse location is accessible only by timber flanked logging roads which climb up to 2058ft elevation, and then reveal the dramatic vineyard setting with Pacific Ocean views.   The vineyard was planted in 2003 to 19 acres of Pinot Noir (Clones 114, 115, and 777) and 11 acres of Chardonnay (Clones Old Wente, 76, and 809) in primarily Ornbaum soil, with southern facing aspect.  Veteran vineyard consultant, Martin Mochizuki, has taken on the challenge of orchestrating this amazing vineyard site to produce some of the finest fruit in the region.

One would correctly assume that the Manchester Ridge growing conditions are as unruly as the black bears and other wildlife that share this habitat.  Due to the ridge top elevation, the vineyard is above the fog line and most frost threats; however, the extremes of spring weather equate to small yields that average less than 2 tons/acre.  This fruit takes full advantage of early morning sun, and maritime breezes which develop in the early afternoon allowing a harvest that matures slowly to produce structured wines with exotic aromatic profiles, pronounced acidity, and a healthy tannic backbone. 

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