Wines of Vine Hill

Owner(s) Celeste Guerrero, Nick Guerrero, Laura Simons, Nat Simons
Web site
Link to this site

This property is a long and interesting history dating back to 1863 when George and John Jarvis first planted vineyards in this area known as the Vine Hill District. David Bruce subsequently owned the property and planted it to Pinot Noir. He sold it in 1874 to Ken Burnap who produced iconic Pinot Noirs under the Santa Cruz Mountains label until the property was sold to a group of investors led by Nick and Celeste Guerrero in 2004. The original Santa Cruz Mountains Vineyard has been replanted.

Two labels are under the Wines of Vine Hill umbrella: Gatos Locos of Vine Hill, value-priced wines, and Cumbre of Vine Hill, limited production premium wines. Production as of 2009 was less than 1,000 cases.

The new owners have made a serious attempt to carry on the long and storied legacy of grape growing and winemaking at this historic property and any true pinotphile would be well advised to visit.

Reviewed Wines

2006 Cumbre Hicks Family Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 190 cases, $59. This vineyard is located in the Corralitos/Pleasant Valley subregion at 500 feet. The soil is rich for the area as it was the former home of a small horse farm - Un Corralito. Degree days are Region II. The vines are 5 to 6 years old planted to Dijon clones 115 and 667 and yielding 4 tons per acre. This wine is 90% clone 115. Brix at harvest was 26.7. · Rich and jammy strawberry and raspberry fruit is laced with toast, anise, spearmint, white pepper, briar and oak. There is a definite minerality evident. Alcohol peeks out on the nose and in the finish. The tannins are very soft and the texture is velvety. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Cumbre Raffaelli Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 192 cases, $59. This 2+acre vineyard is located in Soquel in the Los Ranchos subregion at an elevation of 400 to 500 feet. Degree days are Region II. The vines are 25 years old and yield 3.5 tons per acre. The clones are 667, 777 and Pommard. The vineyard is hand farmed by owner Angelo Raffaelli. Brix at harvest was 26.3. · Intensely fruity nose featuring crushed dark berries with hints of wet stone, herbs, and a whiff of alcohol. Rich and earthy, this robust wine is packed with a succulent core of blackberries and black raspberries yet displaying supple dry tannins and an uplifting finish. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

2004 Cumbre Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., $79. The last vintage of the original plantings at Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard. · Intense dark reddish-purple color. Very ripe aromas of roasted black fruits and raisin. Dark and deep with almost impenetrable fruit buttressed by substantial tannins and finishing with orange peel-livened acidity. Drinks like a Petite Syrah. Not for the faint of heart now but it will be interesting to see how this wine evolves 10 years down the line. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »

function loadResizer() { $("#wineresizer").resizable({ disabled: true }); }

© 2003-2023 Rusty Gaffney MD | Contact the Prince: | Admin Login