Cool climate Syrah clones

Amateur here. We are looking to plant an acre of Syrah in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We have been told that pinot would probably be more appropriate but for a variety of reasons have decided against it. We currently have about 1 acre of Chardonnay, fourth year but last year was wiped out by powdery mildew (tough learning curve!).

We are at about 800ft elevation and a mile or so as the crow flies from the ocean. We are usually above the fog line. We have produced dry-farm tomatoes commercially for decades so I think we have enough heat. We are one ridge west of where Randall Graham planted his famous Syah vineyard in the 80’s that unfortunately was wipe out by Pierce’s disease (I think?).

Any recommendations for clones? Thanks!

Check in with Big Basin, they have Syrah planted in the SCMs and IIRC, John Alban was the consultant when they planted in the last 90’s or very early 00’s

Do you make wine yourself or sell the fruit?

Curious as to what happened to your Chard. Are you trying to farm organic? Didn’t get good advice on a spray program? Improper equipment?

Thanks Mel, I will talk to Bradley about that. Appreciate the tip.

Casey- our main farmer thought he could wait until the first signs and then spray. Next year he will spray according to the calendar. A steep learning curve! We have been certified organic for close to 40 years (I have not been there for most of it.)

Adam -we only have made wine once, 2 years ago, and had that done by a local winemaker. The main farmer’s also use the grapes in one of their value added products.