Vineyard Description

Kings Mountain Vineyards™ is committed to producing premium, hand crafted, French style wines from estate grown grapes. The vineyard is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation of California, in the Skyline subregion at the heart of the peninsula, in the town of Woodside. This area is one of the coolest wine growing microclimates in California, with clay soils and hardscrabble that are ideal for growing grapes.

The vineyard at Kings Mountain was planted in 1992 on a private estate that has existed in Woodside since the late 1800s. It consists of 520 vines in a quadrilateral cordon-trained, spur-pruned system on an open lyre trellis, and is just over one planted acre. The vines are dry farmed, hand maintained and harvested, allowing us to ensure the quality of the fruit.

We practice sustainable agriculture to conserve energy and water, build healthy soil, protect air and water quality, preserve surrounding wildlife habitat, and minimize the use of pesticides.

Each wine is produced in small lots, is unfined and unfiltered, and aged in only new French oak barrels. The winery produces approximately 400 cases each year, divided among our Pinot Noir, and Bordeaux style blend Meritage.

Because of our small size, we do not currently have a tasting facility, but our wines are poured at regional events, and are available at retail shops and excellent restaurants.

Appellation

The Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation covers a large geographic area from Woodside in Northern San Mateo County to Watsonville in Southern Santa Cruz County. With only 1500 acres planted to wine grapes, the area encompasses some 480,000 acres.

Located between two major bodies of water, the peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay is subject to a strong maritime influence. The appellation ranges in altitude from 400 feet up to 2600 feet on the ridges and valleys throughout. The warm days and cool nights resulting from the marine influence are perfect for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This climate preserves the integrity of the fruit, allowing for softer skins and tannins that release more easily into the wine.

The San Andreas Fault line dissects the region, with the Pacific Plate on the coastal side and the North American plate inland. Soil on the Pacific Plate is comprised primarily of ancient seabed and is characterized by sedimentary sandstone, mudstone, clay and shale created by marine deposits and loam. Soil on the North American Plate is primarily metamorphic and granitic, although some areas near the fault line feature both.

Within the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation, there are five major subregions, from the South, they are: Corralitos/Pleasant Valley, Los Ranchos, Summit Road, Saratoga/Los Gatos and Skyline, in which Kings Mountain Vineyards is located. These five subregions can be identified by the microclimates that lend very distinct flavor profiles to the grapes grown in each. Despite clonal differences and winemaking styles, the underlying subregional characteristics in the vineyard are quite pronounced, especially when referring to Pinot Noirs of the appellation.

The Woodside area and Skyline subregion is the northern end of the appellation and includes vineyards along the ridge at about 2100 feet as well as vineyards down slope closer to the San Francisco Bay. These Vineyards can experience dramatic temperature variations, with frequent evening maritime fog events during the summer that bring cold coastal air to cool the warm afternoons.

In general, Santa Cruz Mountains wines are characterized by an earthy, mineral quality, specifically pronounced in the Pinot Noirs, with a complexity and balanced acidity that pairs well with food and helps the wines mature gracefully. Pronounced acidity, bright lively fruit, red berries, dark cherries, cranberry, guava, cocoa, allspice, orange peel and herbaceous flavors characterize the Skyline subregion flavor profiles.