Vineyard: From its steep and rocky perch, Alpine Vineyard gazes at the Pacific Ocean 10 miles in the distance. The altitude and proximity to the ocean contribute to a very cool climate, but unlike most of California’s cool and foggy sites Alpine has little wind. This unique combination of climate and soil produces wines that do not taste like any other Pinot Noir or Chardonnay in the world.
Alpine is divided into ½ acre blocks with tightly planted 6' by 4' rows. These blocks contain 16 different selections of Pinot Noir and 4 different selections of Chardonnay. Most of these are of low-yielding "Heritage" or "Suitcase" selections such as Calera, Swan, La Tache, Hyde and Wente. Each of these blocks is micro-vinified.
Elevation:1200’ to 1490'
Geology: Purisima formation, 4 million years old (Pliocene epoch)
Clones: 16 Pinot Noir and 4 Chardonnay, primarily “Heritage” and “Suitcase” selections
Orientation: The small east-facing Rhys Swan Terrace offers an elegant and beautifully sophisticated expression of the vineyard while a rigorous selection of fruit from the south facing blocks produces the larger Rhys Alpine Vineyard bottling.
Soil: Topsoils range from 6" to 20" over chalky Purisima formation sedimentary bedrock
Viticulture: At Rhys Vineyards, we believe that real wine quality is produced in the vineyard not the winery. Driven by that belief, each of our seven vineyards is managed with a "spare no expense" viticultural approach that is based on organic and Biodynamic farming methods. Our goal is to naturally balance our vines while cultivating a vibrant and biologically diverse ecosystem in and around each vineyard. This philosophy of minimal intervention is mirrored in our winemaking.
Vinification: Partial whole cluster. Native yeast fermentations in seperate lots. No fining or filtration.
Aging: 25% new French oak
Notes: Until the ’13 and ’14 can rival it, we feel the ’12 Alpine is our greatest Alpine bottling to date. As these struggling hillside vines have matured, the fruit has become more red and complex but still exhibits the intensity that people love.