Andrew Geoffrey – Calistoga CA – Diamond Mountain AVA
Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards is situated atop Diamond Mountain AVA in Calistoga CA, one of the northern most areas in Napa Valley. I owe a special thanks to Amanda from The Traveling Grape (link) for connecting me with Peter from Andrew Geoffrey Vineyards (AGV). AGV is a boutique wine producer that operates from St Helena with all of their fruit coming from their Vineyard in Calistoga CA.
I first met with Peter from AGV in the summer of 2010 when I decided to do a full on exploration of the Diamond Mountain AVA (a whole series will follow this video). At our first meeting I met with Peter at the base of Diamond Mtn road and Hwy 29, as this vineyard is well off the beaten path. I followed him up an amazing drive through redwood forests, hairpin turns, and inclines that are not for the light-hearted. In the 3o minutes we had to look over the site, it was clear this is a vineyard of distinction, and I wanted to explore it more. Due to time constraints, there was no time to walk the vineyard, but Peter said he’d let me come back at harvest, per my request, but only if I promised to stay out of the way. :)
AGV is one of those stories about a long sought dream of wanting to have a vineyard in Napa, and for Peter it is a dream come true. Peter told me how he did not want any ordinary site and he took his time in locating and finally deciding on this vineyard site. He had worked with geologists and viticulture professionals to make sure the soil was unique and that the site would be suitable for planting. Long story short, he did his homework, and landed an amazing site, and is working the dream everyday!
When I came back for harvest in late October I used a new app to document my walk thru the vineyard and to give you a quick overview of the site itself and a quick view of harvest on a mountainside vineyard. You should note this vineyard has a great concentration of volcanic soil, great drainage, varying slopes, and primarily Eastern and northern exposure. It is a late ripening site, due to it’s elevation, sun exposure, climate difference from the valley floor, winds, and hillside vines just have to work harder to grow, mature, and ripen. (One note, Diamond Mtn predominantly faces East & North. It gets great sun exposure in the morning and falls in to shade by late afternoon. As a result, you will find that most vineyards on Diamond Mountain are at higher elevations to capture more sun exposure.)
I had the luxury of trying some one of the wines that came from this vineyard a 375ml of the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, (this was given to me at no-cost). To quote Christophe Smith who tried this wine with me, “It is a pretty wine.” I felt exactly the same way. I do not usually get into tasting and rating wines, but if your palate seeks and loves quintessential “Napa Cab”, this is an amazing bottle for the price. It is a standout for a 2005, with signature mountain fruit tannin, and a jammy ripeness that envelops the mouth. The 2005 had a high ABV level, but the depth of the wine had no problem concealing the alcohol.
Please take a walk with me (Andrew Lazorchak) through the AGV at harvest, as we move into a new era of VineyardVlog as captured via EveryTrail.
Please let me know any questions and stay tuned for more VineyardVlog posts on Diamond Mountain AVA.