Sonoma County Estate Vineyard Portfolio

In 2012, after several years of working with its coveted grapes, Decoy acquired the renowned Ridgeline Vineyard property, fulfilling a long-held dream of establishing an Estate program in the Alexander Valley and Sonoma County. The lush, structured Bordeaux-varietal fruit from this storied vineyard has become a central element in our Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and flagship Decoy Red, further enhancing the quality of our wines, and underscoring our belief in the importance of Estate vineyards.

Located approximately 90 miles north of San Francisco, Ridgeline Vineyard is situated on Oak Mountain in the Alexander Valley AVA—Sonoma County's finest appellation for growing Bordeaux grapes. The property consists of 44 unique hillside vineyard blocks, with different soils and elevations (up to nearly 2,000 feet). Though this spectacular mountain vineyard spans more than 400 acres, only 89 acres are under vine. The rest is preserved in its natural state, providing a stunning backdrop to the vine rows.

Looming high above Alexander Valley at the north end of the Mayacamas mountain range, Ridgeline primarily consists of Cabernet Sauvignon and the other Bordeaux red grapes. Originally planted in 1999, the site benefits from an east-west exposure for maximum sunlight, and a north-south vertical axis for ideal drainage. Steep slopes further contribute to drainage, resulting in lower yields and concentrated flavors. These factors, and the site's primarily Boomer and Sobrante loam soils, threaded with interlacing natural mineral springs, provide remarkable conditions for cultivating red grapes with phenomenal color, flavor and structure. Additionally, while summer daytime temperatures are hot enough to suit heat-loving red grapes, the rapid cooling effect of evening fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean preserves the fresh, enlivening acidity of the fruit as it ripens.

In 2013, we also acquired another spectacular Alexander Valley Estate property, the Brownell Vineyard. Offering an ideal counterpoint to the mountain fruit of Ridgeline, Brownell is a beautiful valley-floor vineyard with ancient gravel and sand alluvial soils. Located in the heart of the valley, Brownell was planted in the early 2000s and features 10 acres of exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. In this warm mid-valley location, the fruit gets beautifully ripe, adding richness and depth to our Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Sonoma County Vineyard Map

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Ridgeline Vineyard

Elevation
1,028 feet

Acreage/Size
90.55 acres

Varietals
Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo

Sub-appellation
Alexander Valley

Soil Type
Boomer Loam, Sobrante Loam, Stonyford Gravelly Loam

Ridgeline Vineyard (2012) Looming high above Alexander Valley at the north end of the Mayacamas mountain range, Ridgeline Vineyard benefits from an east-west exposure for maximum sunlight, and a north-south vertical axis for ideal drainage. Steep slopes further contribute to drainage, resulting in lower yields and concentrated flavors. The site's loam soils, threaded with interlacing natural mineral springs, provide remarkable conditions for cultivating red grapes with phenomenal color, flavor and structure. While summer daytime temperatures are hot enough to suit heat-loving red grapes, the rapid cooling effect of evening fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean preserves the fresh, enlivening acidity of the fruit as it ripens.


Brownell Vineyard

Elevation
240 feet

Acreage/Size
14.10 acres

Varietals
Cabernet Sauvignon

Sub-appellation
Alexander Valley

Soil Type
Cortina Very Gravelly Sandy Loam, Yolo Gravelly Loam, Yolo Loam

Brownell Vineyard (2015) is a classic Alexander Valley vineyard, located in the heart of the appellation just north of Geyserville. The vineyard abuts the Russian River to the east and benefits from the gravel streaks which the river has deposited over the millennia. There are also several old streambeds which flow through the vineyard from the hills to the west. All this material combines to create a fantastic site for Cabernet Sauvignon, the only varietal planted on the property. The wines from this vineyard are fruit-driven, showing red and blue fruit in most vintages, with plenty of structure to back it up. Summer days are long and hot, but as with all great grape-growing regions, the nights bring cool marine air that allows the vines to recover and retain bright acidity in the fruit.