Grapes Sourced: Pinot Noir (115, River Ranch Selection) and Chardonnay (virus free Old Wente)
Owners: Ed and Camille Penhoet
The Toyon Farm, looking down on the San Pablo Bay, includes Ed and Camille's shared passions: beautiful horses surrounded by exceptional grapes. The Penhoet's planted specifically for Ancien back in 1998 with a subsequent planting of Ed’s River Ranch Selection (ask us about its storied past!) coming into production in 2009. The coolness is due to its close proximity to the San Pablo Bay, which is the northern extension of the San Francisco Bay. Morning fog is common, cooling the grapes and slowing photosynthesis and the developing ripeness, followed by drying afternoon breezes. The clay soils are shallow, going to a depth of about 2-3 feet, below which is a hardpan that the vines cannot penetrate. Additionally, the blocks are sloped to the west and southwest, providing good drainage. This combination limits vigor, making the vines spread their roots outward where they compete for nutrients and water.
Location: Napa/Sonoma - Carneros
Owner(s): The Sangiacomo Family
Grapes Sourced: Chardonnay (virus free Old Wente), Pinot Gris (46,52)
Beginning with Maria and Vittorio Sangiacomo, who immigrated from Italy to eventually settle in Sonoma in 1927, there are three complete generations who have worked the soils now reaching 1600 acres across Napa and Sonoma. Currently the second and third generations work together to sustainably grow the high quality grapes their family is known for.
Our love affair with the Old Wente selection of Chardonnay has many sources of inspiration including the legendary Green Acres Hill Block, also owned by the Sangiacomos. The Vella Ranch, sharing the same sandy soils, was planted in 1996, becoming home to the same selection of Old Wente Chardonnay. This is the smallest berried and most concentrated Chardonnay we have ever seen or worked with.
In 1999 we began an experiment with Pinot Gris. Based on that initial success, we embarked on a larger scale project, and the Sangiacomo’s planted 2 acres of Pinot Gris exclusively for Ancien, using clones imported from Alsace. The clay soils and eastern aspect of the site produce ideal fruit for the richer flavored and fuller bodied Alsatian style that we are striving to produce. The vineyard has matured nicely, yielding consistently ripe fruit with refreshing acidity. We are the sole winery that is sourcing Pinot Gris from this special plot, our “vineyard-within-the-vineyard.”