Our journey began in 1998 When Oded Shakked (then a full-time head winemaker at "J" Vineyards and Winery) discovered one of the growers he worked with had a hillside block of Syrah grapes planted on red volcanic soil. Since then, Oded has developed and maintained our own vineyard on Westside road as well as relationships with local growers from which we buy close to sixty percent of the fruit we use in crafting our wines.
Our own vineyards are farmed sustainably, after all - it is the right thing to do. Some growers are using organic (non certified) practices. We care about supporting small farm operations and preserving the agricultural heritage of our region.
Pronounced "Da-Kein", a Hawaiian expression of multiple meanings, here meant as "The Best". Our own estate vineyard and site of our annual Wine Club gathering. About two acres of Merlot and just under an acre of Malbec planted in 1985 and were sold to Arrowood winery until 2005. These “field blended” grapes all go to make our DaKine Vineyard Merlot. In 2000, Oded planted one acre of Syrah and our special little ‘spice rack’ block of mixed varieties (Petit Sirah, Carignan, Grenache, Zinfandel and Malbec) that make up the field-blend for our DaKine Vineyard Syrah flagship wine. Oded likes the concept and practice of field blends; not only does it begin the winemaking process by supplying grape lots with the “layered complexity” he loves so much but it also provides a link to the old farming practices of the Italian grape farmers that settled in this area more than a century ago.
Planted in the last days of the 20th Century, this vineyard straddles both the the Russian River Valley and the Alexander Valley appellations. Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Syrah are grown on the RRV side while Cabernet Sauvignon is king on the Alexander Valley side. The soils here are rocky, almost serpentine in some locations. We farm this vineyard for the Webber family with the utmost care, having been charged with the duty of: "Go for Quality"!
The hillside blocks are planted on Saint George rootstock, an old California workhorse that lacks in resistance to nematodes (and thus the root louse phyloxera) but is extremely drought-tolerant and therefore allows us to obtain mature fruit without raisined or pruney character.
Rochioli Family Vineyard
Just mention the name Rochioli to winemakers around here and you feel a quantum leap in respect and attentiveness. Those who’ve had the privilege to work with the fruit grown by Joe and Tom Rochioli and their clan know that this is not just hype. Those who haven’t just keep wishing their name will one day rise to the top of the waiting list so they can score a few tons of perfectly grown grapes. Longboard produced a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rochioli Vineyard from 1999 to 2007, when Joe ripped out the old vines and planted a new Pinot Noir block. Since then, we’ve occasionally gotten Rochioli’s Pinot Noir fruit to blend into our Russian River Pinot Noir bottling. In 2012 we received four tons of Pinot Noir from the Sweetwater block and five tons of Chardonnay block that will now become an integral part of our program. The Chardonnay grown here has a beautiful mineral quality and produces a wine that hints of a Mersault. The Pinot Noir is floral with deep black fruit character, a slight spicy note and an Earl Grey Tea leaf finish. These wines improve exponentially as they age.
This is the vineyard that made the first ever Longboard Wine, the 1998 Syrah. The Ledbetter family, operators of a large grapevine farming operation, own this ranch in the upper middle reach of the Russian River Valley. These hillside vines sit right on the fog line edge, a mere 100 feet off of the valley floor. The Syrah is planted in a block blessed with red dirt of volcanic origin with patches of rocky and gravely soils, it yields a wine that consistently reminds us of the greatness of this unappreciated variety, wines that are lush and well structured without being overly tannic or heavy. In cooler years, the flavor profile leans more to the black currant and blueberry side and is coupled with a very light wild fennel note that makes this a great companion to our favorite Middle East recipes.
Vicenzo Vineyard 89 years old Carignan
Starting with the 2017 harvest, we managed to source Old-Vine Carignane from Mendocino County. The Grazziano family has farmed this vineyard for 89 years and these truly ancient vines produce a great wine chock-full of cherry and plum flavors and a well-balanced structure. We are uber-excited... you will be too.
Fun Vineyard Pictures
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