At STARK, we believe that the most distinct grapes come from land that is farmed sustainably, by like-minded, earth-conscious grape growers. Christian works closely with each of our growers to ensure we have the best grapes possible come harvest time. You can follow Christian’s work in the vineyards on our blog.
Planted in 1997, the Damiano Vineyard is a 6-acre vineyard at an elevation of 1,800 feet in the Sierra Foothills near Auburn in Placer County. John and his son Joe Damiano own and manage the vineyard and we’ve had the pleasure to work with them for 9 years. The vineyard is planted to Viognier, Primitivo (a clone of Zinfandel normally seen in southern Italy), Barbera and a small amount of Petite Sirah. We source all of these varietals from this unique Sierra Foothills vineyard.
The Trimble Vineyard in Hopland in Mendocino County is a 5-acre certified organic vineyard mainly planted to Carignane back in 1942. The vineyard is beautiful – gnarly old vines on the valley floor – and unique given that the Carignane vines are dry farmed (meaning no irrigation) and head-trained (meaning that the vines are not trellised and are allowed to grow naturally). We have now worked with Rick Trimble for 2 years to source our Carignane grapes.
The Saarloos family has around 100 acres of vines in Los Olivos, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County. Larry Saarloos grows a number of varietals in the vineyards, and his son Keith makes some great wines from the fruit. We are lucky that they have some Grenache Blanc – there are just over 250 acres of Grenache Blanc planted in the USA – and we are happy to travel 6 hours (each way!) to pick the grapes each year. The current vintage is our second vintage of Saarloos Vineyard Grenache Blanc.
Kick Ranch® is a 41.5 acre vineyard specializing in Rhône varietals in the rolling hills of northeast Santa Rosa, Sonoma County. We have just started working with Dick Keenan and his team this year, and are very excited about the top quality Syrah and Grenache we will get in the current vintage. We are producing our single varietal Grenache and Syrah wines from Kick Ranch along with our special cuvées and the 2013 rosé. Keep an eye out for these wines in 2014 & 2015.