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FALL 2008


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BEHIND THE VINE


Behind The Vine with Viticulturist Sukhy Sran The saying “less is more” is often appropriate, but the opposite could be said in our estate vineyards. With tight vine spacing now accounting for most of our vineyard acreage, we are using more vines per acre to yield less fruit per vine. Tight vine spacing gives us the best of both worlds. We can grow smaller vines that


yield 50 percent less fruit than a standard vine, which results in enhanced intensity of flavor and color. At the same time, we can double our vines per acre, maintaining our overall yields so that our vineyards remain economically viable. Traditional vine spacing features rows that are eight feet wide with vines planted every


six feet along the row for a total of 908 vines per acre. With tight vine spacing, our rows are six feet wide and our vines are just four feet apart for a total of 1,816 vines per acre. All of our vineyard blocks planted in recent years have been done in the tighter


spacing, and we are very happy with the results. The vines are very balanced, yielding healthy clusters with small grapes. When grapes are small by nature, their skin-to-juice ratio is higher. Since much of a wine’s flavor and color comes from the skins, the payoff of smaller grapes can be significant. While we can double our vines in order to maintain overall yields, tighter spacing


still comes at a considerable cost, as it requires more vines, more maintenance, more labor, more irrigation infrastructure and specialized farming equipment. Our lone reward for this added investment is the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality in our fruit and, ultimately, our wines.


THE CUVÉE COLLECTION – A TASTE OF TERROIR


At Vina Robles, we believe that blending is the best way to make exciting wines that showcase a true sense of place. This belief is rooted in our European winemaking heritage, as well as our freedom in California to take less traditional paths in the pursuit of synergy and complexity. For this reason, we created our Cuvée Collection—a trio of distinctive red blends


from Paso Robles. These wines are designed to showcase the diversity, versatility and complexity of our region. The 2005 Signature is a blend of Petit Verdot (57%) from our estate Huerhuero Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon (26%) from Adelaida Springs Ranch and Syrah (17%) from Ryan Road Vineyard. These vineyards roughly occupy the northwest, central and southeast areas of the Paso Robles AVA, making this wine a true blend of Paso Robles. The 2005 Syrée unites Syrah (72%) with Petite Sirah (15%) and Cabernet Sauvignon


(13%). The dominant Syrah component comes from Ryan Road Vineyard near the town of Creston southeast of Paso Robles. This is a cool, high-elevation site with shallow limestone soils, which yield grapes that are rich in flavor, color and tannin. The 2005 Suendero is a Meritage bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon (80%) and Petit


Verdot (20%) from Adelaida Springs Ranch in the rugged coastal mountains west of Paso Robles. Here, at an elevation of 1,500 feet and just 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the vineyard benefits from two soil types that give distinct characteristics to the wine. Mild, marine- moderated temperatures maintain naturally high acidity in the grapes, which gives the wine excellent aging potential. While Paso Robles is a large appellation


Congratulations to Sukhy, wife Megan, and daughter Madeline who welcomed Alexis, on July 26!


on paper, it is, in fact, a mosaic of very distinct “sub appellations.” With our Cuvée Collection, you can enjoy a virtual tour of this complex terroir.


The Cuvée Collection is featured daily at our tasting room; a wine and cheese pairing is also available.


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