Hidden away in a corner of Lake County in Northern California, Sonatina Vineyards is an ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard located at the headwaters of Cache Creek. Century old oak trees grow from the deep red soil in the vineyard and provide perches for hawks. The rootstock was selected for the warm dry summer days and cool nights found in Lake County.

The low humidity in the region reduces mildew and rot pressure for consistently high-quality grape production. The 23-acre vineyard was planted with 110R rootstock and the best quality, low producing Cabernet Sauvignon clones of 15, 4, and 337. The close 6 ft x 6 ft spacing keeps vigor per vine low while allowing enough sunlight to color the grapes.

They chose hardy rootstock suited to withstand the land’s fickle weather, reducing disease and rot pressure on the grapes. Meticulous vine spacing allowed for individual care, as hands guided each plant to reach its potential.

The vineyard was managed using sustainable practices to preserve the unique environment in which it is located. Native plant growth was controlled between the rows with a no-till practice and scheduled mowing. The vines were carefully trained into a vertical canopy, with shoot thinning in the spring and leaf removal in the summer. Fruit thinning occurred early in the growing season and at version, leaving only the finest clusters to ripen through the summer.

The Wine Making

Xurus Cabernet Sauvignon wines are hand-crafted from a blend of 3 Cabernet Sauvignon clones produced at Sonatina Vineyards in Lake County. Berries are handpicked, de-stemmed, mechanically sorted on a “Le Trieur” shaker table, and finally berry-by-berry sorted with a crew of 12. The must is then cold soaked for 5-6 days, followed by the alcoholic fermentation and extended maceration. The wine is aged in 6 different French oak barrels selected to match the terroir of Sonatina.

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