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Ancient Peaks
November 21, 2014 | Winemaking, Wines | Ancient Peaks

"Painting" the 2012 Zinfandel

We often talk about the diverse soils and complex geography of our estate Margarita Vineyard, which spans a variety of different slopes, aspects and elevations. 

If you’re inclined to ask, “Why does it matter?”, we’ll forgive you—and then pour you a glass of our 2012 Zinfandel, which is a perfect example of why it matters.

As Director of Winemaking Mike Sinor explains in the short video above, the 2012 Zinfandel is a blend of three separate blocks grown in three distinct soil types at Margarita Vineyard.

Fruit from the volcanic soils of Block 32 brings a core of varietal spiciness to the wine, while a contribution from the shale soils of Block 49 adds a layer of dark, ripe fruit. Lastly, the cooler climes and alluvial soils of Block 39 bring enhanced structure and backbone.  

The nuance doesn’t end there. As Mike explains, he and Winemaker Stewart Cameron target specific subsections, which you might call “blocks within blocks.” So from Block 32, they choose fruit from the middle of the block, which they call the tenderloin. In Block 49, they focus on the elevated crown of the block. In other words, a slight change in aspect or elevation can be the difference between good and great.

The result is that Mike and Stewart have what they call “different colors to paint with” when assembling the final blend. It allows them to craft an estate-grown wine that naturally exhibits fullness and complexity, qualities that you can taste in our 2012 Zinfandel. 


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