"I find the sweet herbal complexity, minerality, spice and red fruit of La Jota wines to be very similar to the wines
of Bordeaux," says Winemaker Christopher Carpenter. "Our cooler, high-elevation climate and extended hangtime develop
this layered, complex expression."
Cool wind sweeps up the canyon from Lake Hennessy, preventing a cold blanket of air from settling over our vineyard.
In the spring, this reduces our need for frost protection after bud-break, and in the fall, the chilly air extends
hangtime; we have harvested Cabernet Sauvignon as late as November 4. In fact, high on the mountain temperatures rarely
become hot enough to stress the vines and shut down photosynthesis. As a result, ripening is even and steady, with cool
nights that maintain balanced acidity in the grapes. Yields here are naturally low, due to the lean soils and rugged
mountain conditions, and assertive crop thinning further concentrates the vine's energy into a limited number of
clusters, resulting in the highest quality grapes.
Water is a precious commodity in winegrowing country, especially on a mountain. Our vines must root deeply to find
moisture during the growing season, a beneficial struggle that results in small berries with highly extracted flavors.
The lack of water also presents a challenge during replanting, since young vines need irrigation to establish their
root systems. We are only able to irrigate 12 to 14 rows at a time, so we plant in very small blocks, carefully considering
our selection of drought-resistant rootstocks, clones, site exposures, wind directions, soils and drainage systems.
We employ sustainable farming practices that protect the earth while producing high-quality wines:
Our 28.05 planted vineyard acres on the La Jota estate include 20.58 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.24 acres of Merlot,
2.88 acres of Cabernet Franc and 1.35 acres of Petit Verdot. These are divided into 16 micro-blocks.
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