Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards' 13 acres of red wine grapes are situated within a 60 acre parcel of prime hillside vineyard property on the highest slopes of the Diamond Mountain District sub-appellation of the Napa Valley. Diamond Mountain is located along the Mayacamas mountain range between St. Helena and Calistoga. Diamond Mountain is well known and recognized for its diversity of volcanic soils, varied micro-climates, and generous amounts of winter rainfall. Red wine grapes grown on Diamond Mountain have an outstanding reputation and Diamond Mountain red wines possess a strong consumer recognition.
Since visiting the Napa Valley in 1973, while attending college in southern California, Peter Thompson set his sights on getting into the wine business, specifically in the Napa Valley. In 1992, Peter began actively pursuing his goal of owning a vineyard in the prestigious Napa Valley. During a two and one-half year search for the ultimate vineyard property, Peter selected the Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards site atop Diamond Mountain. The property was undeveloped, but only needed the right combination of efforts to realize its incredible potential for creating a state-of-the-art vineyard to produce world class California Cabernet Sauvignon wine.
With the undeveloped land purchased in 1995, Peter set out to assemble a team of experienced professionals to carve the vineyard site out of the scrub and brush native to the Diamond Mountain soils. After a year of extensive planning, obtaining the appropriate permits and drafting of the most extensive erosion control plan ever devised in the Napa Valley, 13 acres of land were cleared and prepared with the expertise and guidance of well-known Napa Valley viticulturist Rex Geitner. (For more about Rex, see below).
The first consideration for building a successful state-of-the-art vineyard was to locate and tap into a consistent, non-seasonal water source for irrigation. After much consideration, a well site was picked and, after an unsuccessful drilling attempt, Andrew Geoffrey became home to one of the deepest wells (850 feet) in the Napa Valley. The payoff however was a well with ice cold, clear, mineral and chemical free water that needs no treatment before use and which produces more water than can be pumped out. On a hot day, the vineyard workers regularly fill up their water bottles from the spigot at the well head with cold drinking water.
The unique combination of soils (volcanic ash and loam) and varying exposures (Northeast, North and Northwest) required an extensive investigation into locating and then purchasing exactly the right rootstock and red grape clones. Rex's selection process was exacting, but required, to optimize use of the land and micro-climates within the vineyard. In 1996, Peter purchased the rootstock and clones selected by Rex. In late July 1997, sectional planting was completed.
The vineyard was originally comprised of sixty-eight percent (68%) Cabernet Sauvignon, clones 337 and 15, both on 110r rootstock, eighteen percent (18%) Cabernet Franc of a proprietary clone on 110r rootstock, along with twelve percent (12%) Merlot clones 181 and a proprietary clone of uncommon quality also on 110r rootstock, and two percent (2%) Petit Verdot clone 2 on 110r rootstock. Currently, after budding over the Merlot clones in 2003 to additional Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, the vineyard is comprised of seventy-eight percent (78%) Cabernet Sauvignon, clones 337 and 15, both on 110r rootstock, eighteen percent (18%) Cabernet Franc of a proprietary clone on 110r rootstock, and four percent (4%) Petit Verdot clone 2 on 110r rootstock.
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