Vineyard Management Philosophy
Looking across the State Lane vineyard one immediately senses that the vineyard is different. Cultivated with passion and a singular vision, the 16 acres are meticulously hedged and maintained. There is continuity in the way the vines are planted, cared for and harvested that will insure that there is unwavering quality of grapes for each vintage.
We know that it’s an old “Cliché” that great winemaking begins in the vineyard. However, it is true and we believe in it and we practice it. In other words “We walk the talk” with fervent passion.
Ilsley Vineyard Management does all of the farming from pruning to harvesting. They share our phylosophy about how sacred the vineyard is and how it is the most important part of a great bottle of wine.
From the moment we were blessed with the opportunity to purchase State Lane Vineyard we dedicated ourselves to maximize the soil, the soul, the spirit and the proprietors’ fanatical commitment to quality and the expression of this famous vineyard in every single bottle that will be produced.
Grape Growing Philosophy
The vineyard is planted 4-5 times more densely than is typical for Napa Valley. We have 2,640 vines/acre compared to the more typical 660 vines/acre. In fact we’re planted more like the “First Growths” in Bordeaux at 6,500 – 7,000 vines/hectare. At the higher density spacing the vines produce smaller berries with higher skin-to-juice ratios and more intense flavors and aromas.
The higher density spacing also induces natural stressing of the vines without artificial human intervention, like shutting watering off or withholding critical nutrients.
We aim to grow grape clusters with uniform small berries that will give our wines intense flavors with complex aromas and a full bodied structure that will be in harmonies balance.
We take extraordinary measures to make sure that only the very best grape clusters are harvested, leaving many clusters out in the vineyard. We normally drop around 5 tons/acre and only bring in around 3-3-1/2 tons/acre.
Winery view through block 5 Merlot
Aerial view of our 20 acre State Lane Vineyard
Vineyard view through block 4 Cabernet Sauvignon