our philosophy We are extraordinarily selective when it comes to our “Star Fields” — unique sites where fruit develops the optimal balance of aroma, flavor and texture. For each variety, that optimal place is different; however, the three factors we seek for each Starfield are consistent: Cool Climate
We only select vineyards where there is just enough summer heat to achieve optimal ripening. This allows us to use the entire growing season for a long, slow development of aroma, flavor and texture. Each variety has unique heat requirements. For the Bordelaise varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, we find that ideal climate at the southern end of the Napa Valley between the city of Napa and the town of Oakville. For our Mediterranean varieties, the Placerville property with an elevation of 2,400 feet, provides the cooling influence of altitude.
Hillsides & Rocky Soils
Intense flavors come from vineyards where vines struggle, so our star fields are planted on hillsides and slopes where the soils are rocky and poor. For Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, our vineyards are located on rolling hills and slopes on the eastern side of the Napa Valley, where rocky soils make it easier to develop the intense flavors we seek. Our Placerville estate property with its mountain Mediterranean climate is well-suited to varieties like Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Viognier and other Mediterranean varieties given its elevation and the steep hillside slopes.
Only the most dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced growers can produce fruit that will yield a great wine. Those are the only growers whose vineyards qualify for Starfield wine.
As experienced growers ourselves, we understand the science behind viticulture, and have a deep commitment to producing top quality fruit. The work starts before planting with small vineyard block layouts to assure uniform ripening, sourcing healthy vines and matching rootstocks to variety and soil, optimizing planting densities and trellis systems, and installing irrigation systems that enable careful deficit irrigation.
Once the vineyards begin to produce fruit, great vineyard management requires tight coordination of pruning and cluster management to optimize quality and yield, canopy adjustment to expose fruit to sunlight without risk of sunburn, and irrigation practices that produce the smallest possible berry size, bring the vine into balance, and sustain the vine through the fall harvest.