It All Starts In The Vineyard
Our belief is that great Pinot is made in the vineyard. This is why the only Pinot Noir from Coeur de Terre comes from our estate vineyard, where we have total control at every step of the growing process. We are fanatical about growing grapes and optimizing their potential to make noteworthy wine.
In our greenhouse, every vine that is planted at CdT is grafted from parent material from our vineyard's "mother block". The material chosen for our plants come from the vines that have demonstrated characteristics of small, tight clusters with tiny berries that produce elegant Pinot. This parent material is grafted to a variety of rootstocks chosen to provide additional complexity and to compliment the block of land they are destined for. Grafting vines is not the typical task for a winery, but we feel this is a necessary step to maintain quality
Once the vines are ready to plant, we layout our vineyards to be in balance with their surroundings and soils. We believe in the "small vine" theory where individual vines ripen a very small amount of fruit to ensure concentration. This requires a dense planting configuration utilizing a single Guyot trellis system with a typical vine spacing of 2 meters by 1 meter. We don't believe more vines is always better, but rather that there is a balanced density that gives the right amount of canopy without crowding which would lead to unripe and vegetal flavors in a finished wines
The maintenance of our vineyard follows a strict regimen of utilizing only organic practices and a dedication to spending a great deal of time with our vines to ensure they are maintained in a condition that will allow them to produce the most elegant and concentrated wines possible. This starts in the winter during pruning where our staff is rigorously educated on assessing each individual vine and pruning the vine to maximize its efficiency. During the growing season, we go through the vineyard by hand to remove weeds, position shoots so every leaf gains the greatest exposure, remove a small amount of leaves to ensure the right amount of sun exposure on the fruit and drop fruit to ensure our crop loads are extremely low. This takes a lot of time and labor, but there is simply no other way to grow great Pinot.
Coeur de Terre Block Descriptions
The blocks at CdT are all laid out to follow the contours of the land and to create blocks with different soils, elevations and exposures allowing unique qualities to come from each block. The following is a more in depth description of each block.
Renelle's Block was our first block planted in the spring of 1999. This block is Pinot Noir and has a variety of clones including Pommard, Wadensville, 113,114, 115,667 & 777. Renelle's Block, named after Scott's mom, has served as the mother block for the rest of the vineyard through our in-house grafting operations.
Renelle's Block is located at the southern end of the vineyard and ranges from 280' to 400' elevation. The soil is comprised of sedimentary soils with a rather high clay content in the Hazelaire soil series. Vines are planted 8'x5' and trained to a Dual Guyot type of system over its 3 acres.
Sarah Jane's Block is named after Lisa's Great Grandmother who was a Native American Indian. This culture and heritage have always had roots in nature and the elements and the spirit of Sarah Jane lives on in this block.
This 4 acre block was planted in 2000 consisting mainly of Dijon clones and is located on the Southwest side of the vineyard and consists primarily of classic Willakenzie soils. The vineyard is planted with 7'x31/2' spacing and is trained to a Single Guyot trellis system.
Abby's Block is named after our daughter and posssible future winemaker. This vineyard was planted in 2002, the year of Abby's birth and is made up of Pommard, Wadensville and 667 clones.
The soil is the most unique on our property which local geologists have not been able to identify and believe to be unique to Coeur de Terre. This block sits at 450' elevation and is spaced 7 x31/2 Single Guyot equating to about 4 acres.
This newly christened block (named after our beautiful new little girl) is located mid slope directly North of Renelle's Block. This 1.7 acre block is exclusively planted to clone 115 and have 7'x3.5' spacing. This block was planted in 2003 and is just now at full crop load.
The soils in this block are reminiscent of Renelle's block but with lower clay content and more loamy content especially at the bottom of the block. This block has a direct Southern exposure and promises to ripen a bit earlier than other blocks.
This block lies just east of the winery and is South/Soutwest facing. This block is planted to 667 and 777 Dijon clones. Again, we are planting at our 7'x3.5' spacing and utilizing 101-14 and 3309 rootstock. This block is still in the development stage and we expect the first fruit from this block in 2008.
Our newly planted Syrah block is located on the warmest part of our vineyard. This block is sedimentary in nature and is highlighted by fractured sandstone located very close to the surface. This block was planted in 2006 and still in the development stage. 3% of Viognier has been planted with the Syrah to allow for co-fermentation common with this varietal.
This yet to be dedicated block is located out the front door of the winery and is a Selection Massale of Pinot Noir from other vines that are producing great fruit from our vineyard. Located at 475' elevation and comprised of metamorphic soils of both sedimentary and volcanic origins. We expect to be taking our first fruit from it in the 2011 vintage and expect wonderful things from this block.
Planted Spring 2011