My husband, Josh Clark, and I started Saunter Wines in 2006 with Thomas Brown as our winemaker.
At Saunter, we only source fruit from vineyards that are meticulously managed by Clark Vineyard Management so that we can ensure that quality is happening from the very beginning. We are currently producing three wines: our Eagle Summit Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, our Red Head Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 685, and our Swagger Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Each wine is an expression of the terroir from which it comes, an example of the highest in quality and diligence, and a testament to the dedication that we have in honoring the noble craft of winemaking.
Josh is the vineyard manager for many prestigious properties throughout the Napa Valley and works closely with Thomas Brown on many of his projects. Other vineyards that Josh manages in addition to the Eagle Summit Vineyard and the Red Head Vineyard include Brand, Outpost, True, Hourglass, Merryvale, Mending Wall, Pulido-Walker, Melanson, Kinsella, Clark-Claudon (his parents’ vineyard), SELAH, and Theorem.
The Eagle Summit Vineyard, owned by the Doty family, was the first vineyard that Josh replanted upon his return to the Napa Valley. It was replanted in 2000 to Cabernet Sauvignon with two different rootstock and clonal selections. The soil is composed of well-drained Aiken loam and is comprised of a mix of rich red soil and classic Howell Mountain rocks. There is the use of a permanent cover crop to help dry down spring soils and promote smaller, concentrated fruit. The vineyard is situated at an elevation of 2100 feet and is slightly rolling. Eagle Summit is one of those vineyards that, year after year, performs consistently and offers up the highest quality of fruit with very little manipulation.
The Red Head Vineyard, owned by Ed and Jan Brown of Charlotte, North Carolina, and named after Jan who is a redhead, is located on Old Soda Springs Road on the Southeast end of the Napa Valley. Once a llama pasture, Ed and Jan bought the property in 2005 with plans to plant a vineyard on the rocky hillside. In 2007, Josh began the development of the 7.5-acre hillside vineyard. The row direction was selected in order to maximize heat collection and minimize sunburn. Crossarms are positioned to allow dappled sunlight to reach the fruit, which also maximizes heat collection and minimizes sunburn. Permanent cover crop is planted to help control springtime moisture and encourage small berries with concentrated fruit. Soil Series is Kidd loam and only about 24” deep and full of small cobble and tumbled round rocks. The Vineyard elevation is 220-280 feet and the slope is facing the Southwest.
The Saunter Red Head Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% clone 685 grown on 101-14 rootstock. The clone 685 has consistently given us a characteristic essence of blueberries, uniform ripening and great minerality.
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