One cannot make superlative wines without starting with the best grapes, farmed with the best methods, and grown on the finest sites. Ancien started by specially selecting a mere four rows from one knoll on one vineyard. Since then, we have never stopped looking for new, unique, well-farmed sites to provide the best fruit for our wines.
Today, Ancien sources fruit from ten different vineyard sites in eight different appellations, each one family-owned and each one farmed so that the vines are in balance and harmony with their environment. A vineyard in balance yields the highest quality fruit, without the need for excessive manipulation for the longest period of time. We have been instrumental in the design and planting of many of these vineyards, giving us the unique opportunity to watch them grow and to help bring them into balance and maturity. And the others are farmed and cared for by people who’s philosophy is right in line with ours, people whose commitment to long-term, healthy, sustainable, family-owned farms can be tasted in our wines. Our current lineup contains vines growing in the following viticultural areas: Carneros, Russian River, Coombsville, Sonoma Mountain, Willamette Valley, Sonoma Coast, Napa Valley, Santa Rita Hills.
Ann is our consulting viticulturalist. That means that she concentrates entirely on growing the grapes that make our wines--a good job for Ann, who is a walking encyclopedia of grape vine knowledge! Ann has over 25 years of experience in coaxing the most opulent flavors from the vineyard she has worked with. The breadth of her experience has been shared with wineries such as Domaine Chandon, Swanson, Paul Hobbs, Cain, Calera, and Shafer. Today, she manages her own family’s Shake Ridge Vineyard, in the Sierra Foothills and producing wine under the Yorba label.
Ann walks all of our vineyards each week during the growing season collaborating with Ken and with each of the vineyard managers,updating them on the grapes’ progress through their annual growth cycles. Her level of scientific knowledge is staggering, but Ann will tell you that nothing can ever replace walking through the vineyards,touching the vines, and tasting the fruit.