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Thirty eight acres a mile and a half north of downtown St. Helena…
The vineyard contains seventeen blocks growing eight varietals- Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, Gamay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petite Sirah. Block three and nine are old vine Cabernet Sauvignon and block four is old vine Petite Sirah: this is the fruit used to make the Varozza Vineyards wines. Our wines are 100% St. Helena Appellation and sourced from this vineyard on Pratt Avenue.
Jack and his father, Harold, have farmed this vineyard all of their lives and his grandfather farmed it for over thirty years. When we leased the vineyard from Harold in 1999 our first goal was to add drip to the varietals that would need it and give the young vines a strong start. The Sauvignon Blanc was placed on an open U (or quad) trellis system to allow more light and air flow. Then the Chenin Blanc was pulled up and replaced with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Any vines that needed to be replaced were pulled up and new vines of the same varietals were planted. All of the soils were tested to make sure the vines would have all of the nutrients that they would need to produce the premium grapes we were seeking. We are very fortunate to sit near the juncture of York Creek and the Napa River so all of the alluvial soils have been deposited in this vineyard creating rich soils.
There are true seasons with a grape vine, it is dormant through the winter, wakens in the spring, grows through the summer and ripens in the fall to return back to its dormant stage. We love to watch the vines as the buds break and you can literally see that they have grown during a day. Shortly after leafing the vine blooms and the new grape bunches are visible. Soon the canes are fully grown and the vineyard now has a beautiful canopy to shade the grape bunches. Within a five month period the vineyard is completely transformed. Then the excitement about harvest begins. Contemplation about when the grapes will be perfect for harvest, what the weather is going to do, early rains or a heat wave?