The first shipments of 2006 Baconbrook started shipping this week and I thought I would take a moment to give you some background on this vineyard.
Baconbrook was our second vineyard. We purchased it a couple of years after Butterdragon. It sits on a 40 acre parcel we bought in 2003 from the founders of Oakford Vineyards. They planned the vineyard and it was planted by, and continues to be maintained by, Pina Vineyard Management. Our original goal was NOT to purchase another vineyard — remember this was before we’d ever released a bottle of wine and our last thought was to have more wine to sell — but we really liked the property and wanted the bigger house. The Baconbrook vineyard was a bonus. And oh, what a bonus.
When Cary Gott, our winemaker, saw the Baconbrook vineyard, he gave a little excited exclamation and assured us that we were really going to love that little vineyard. In fact, he told us we would have trouble letting it go if we ever decided to sell the property. (Initially Baconbrook was going to be a temporary investment.) He urged us to make wine from it.
Flash forward to now… Baconbrook is 2 3/4 acres planted entirely to Cabernet Sauvignon clone 337. Root stock is 101-14. Pina tells me that they urged the original owner to use a different, drought resistant root stock but he insisted on 101-14 for the quality. It makes a tasty wine, but we’re always worried about getting enough water to the young vines. We had a very small harvest in 04, less than 3 tons but since that time, we’ve discovered that this vineyard can eek out ~6 tons with careful farming.
It is officially Spring Mountain District but that can be misleading since most people think of the wineries up Spring Mountain Road (Barnett, Pride, etc) when they think Spring Mountain. The vineyard sits on a ridge west of St Helena overlooking the town. You can see it from Spottswood and Madrona Ave. Each vintage has had this really big complex character. You feel like you need to brush your teeth after trying the wines when young. Cary’s opinion is that Baconbrook’s wines seem more like Howell Mountain than Spring Mountain. We age Baconbrook longer in barrel than we do Butterdragon — 26 months versus 22. This wine is a monster, but a nice one. If I was to compare to Butterdragon, I’d say Butterdragon is a feminine wine, a romantic embrace from a sophisticated lady. Baconbrook is a wild man, a rogue with rough edges who speaks 5 languages. Most everyone except me has a favorite between the two but there’s no clear consensus. I could never choose.
2006 is the third release from Baconbrook. Production is expected to hover around 200 cases most years. Baconbrook’s label is like the Butterdragon label except instead of blue, it is a rusty red. Baconbrook’s coordinates: 38 29’33.67″N, 122 29’41.71″W. Just paste those coordinates into Google Maps and see Baconbrook from above.
The photos in this post are of some modifications we made this past season to the irrigation drip system. Water is scarce up there and each year our well is not quite up to the task. By the end of the summer, we’re buying truckloads of water. Conservation is important. This year we drilled holes down into the root system of each vine and placed the emitter directly down near the roots. We started with a test of about a 1/3 of the vineyard. The test was successful. We needed much less water in that section as we lose far less water to surface evaporation. We plan to do the rest of the vineyard this winter.

One Response to “A little background on Baconbrook”

  1. A Winery Blog Post: Match Vineyards

    I’ve been toying with the idea of a “winery blog post of the week,” but it obligates me to more than I’m willing to undertake. In lieu of that, I will occasionally point out a winery blog post that I…

Leave a Reply



website securityContact Us
3060 White Sulphur Springs Rd
St Helena, CA 94574
t: (707) 200-3510
  • RSS
  • Mailing List
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • NetworkedBlogs
  • YouTube