Welcome to a special Santa Cruz Mountains vineyard perched on a ridge top overlooking the Monterey Bay. On this site you will learn about the plans and progress of our emerging vineyard.
The first planting was done in late 1998 and the total 13 acres completed in 2005. See the Description section for details on the one-acre blocks of various clones and root stocks. The Pinot noir section describes the attributes of the four clones planted in this vineyard. See the History section for more detail on the work done each year. The original plan was to confine our efforts to the vineyard, growing premium Pinot Noir. However, several years of experience and the first few harvests highlighted the need for our own label. We needed to sell wine to pay for the vineyard. Federal and California wine sales licenses were obtained in 2006 and initial sales began in 2007, based on our 2004 and subsequent vintages. See the Wines section for more detail.
More information on the farming aspects is in the Installation, Viticulture and Equipment sections.
To grow premium Pinot noir grapes with exquisite attention to detail and quality.
Our vineyard is located on a ridge at 2600′ in the Santa Cruz Mountains facing Monterey Bay. 13 acres of the 77-acre property are setup with drip irrigation and a vertical trellis system and protected by a deer fence. This infrastructure is left over from an initial installation back in the early 80’s that was abandoned before producing grapes. Four varieties were planted at that time: Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Previously, in the 70’s, the property was a Christmas tree farm, so young pine trees pop up everywhere, including in the vineyard! We have meticulously removed the native Santa Cruz Mountains brush and refurbished row by row as we planted new vines.
We have planted a premium selection of Pinot noir French clones that provide the fastidious winemaker the means with which to produce award-winning vineyard-designated wines. The green-growing or dormant bench grafts are supplied by Caldwell Nursery (now Sunridge Nurseries) which specializes in ENTAV-certified vines.
We belong to the American Society of Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) and the Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains (VASCM). In addition, there is the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA, 831-479-9463), primarily for wineries in our AVA. See articles including Muns Vineyard in the May 2005 issues of Wine Enthusiast and Wines & Vines.
We welcome comments and input from others via the Feedback section.
The vineyard had originally been planted back in the 1980s, before Ed bought the property. The vineyard was laid out then with the 10′ row spacing and vine spacing at 7′. Although 10′ between rows is wide by current thinking, Ed has been glad for the leeway it provides for the tractor, which slips occasionally on some of our steep hills. When we started and replanted this old vineyard we maintained the 7′ vine spacing on the first 2.5 acres we planted, but soon interplanted between the vines at a spacing of 3.5′, and continued that spacing throughout the vineyard.
The 2018 Harvest – An Exciting, Stellar Vintage
The 2018 vintage is going to be fantastic! It is without doubt the best crop load we’ve ever had (since 2003), and the fruit quality and flavors are excellent. We picked 50 tons of Pinot Noir over seven days between Sept. 17 and Oct. 15; and picked 5.5 tons of Syrah on Oct. 18. This is a lot to ask of the vineyard, but the vineyard is healthy and conditions couldn’t have been more ideal.
We had an excellent set in the Spring. Warm, but not too hot weather in August ripened the fruit. And then, starting the first of September we had cool weather that prolonged hang time and developed flavors. As a result, we are seeing rich, complex flavors at lower sugar levels. This is the latest we have harvested other than in 2010. That year we had cold weather and it rained several times before we picked the Pinot at the end of October and the Syrah early in November. That was a difficult year. By comparison, 2018 has been just about perfect.
The 2018 promises to be exciting!