I would support To Kalon being an AVA solely if it could help the MacDonalds win their arguments against Constellation that To Kalon is a place, not a trademark.
What are some your favorite Eastern Oakville vineyards/blocks?
Tierra Roja is a great example and one that I worked with for a long time. Red rocky volcanic soils! We made some great ones under the Tor wines label. I’ll attach photos.
Backus and Tench
Thanks so much for this great insight, David. I find this stuff fascinating.
I’d be curious your view on the top sites in Napa outside of Oakville?
Also, how much do you feel farming practices can impact quality. For instance, do you think really great farming can make a “B vineyard” into an “A vineyard”?
Backus is one of my favorite Oakville sites. Hillside vineyard in east Oakville. Such great wines that ages so well.
No I don’t think farming can make a B vineyard into an A vineyard. YES I do think an A vineyard can be performing at a C or B level and be raised back to it’s A status because of care and quality farming. I’ve seen this countless times. One site I’ve worked with a lot is Melanson Vineyard on Pritchard hill, the framing was OK and the wines were great, in 2015 the farming changed and was much improved, the wines were amazing after that.
There are great sites all over the place. For cab, you can look at certain spots on Pritchard Hill like I just mentioned, some sites on Howell mountain ( I’ve worked with Hershey Vineyard and that was amazing) generally the wester slopes of Napa you find some incredible, rocky poor soils and those sites tend to be very expressive. Certain blocks in Dr. Crane are alarming (A block that we used at Tor was great) There are some places in west Rutherford that are pretty killer. On feeder, Lakoya and O’shaugnessy have some amazing sites. They exist all over really.
I’ve always wanted to make wine from that site! One of the greats for sure
Tench is interesting. I made petite Verdot off that site. There are definitely parts that are better than others, more rocky, better drainage. A really cool site