Amapola Creek Vineyards & Winery
Amapola Creek Winery
Amapola Creek Winery is a very small, ultra-premium facility with state-of-the-art equipment. We wanted to keep the design in line with current and historic land use in Sonoma Valley, so we chose a rustic red barn-like exterior. The winery has everything we need for our minimal intervention approach to winemaking, yet has nothing extraneous or fancy. It’s the winery of our dreams!
Our mountainside vineyards were planted on steep volcanic slopes and the winery is nestled amid a stand of ancient oak trees.
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Average Bottle Price
Practices & Techniques
Early on in the process of planting our vineyards, we decided that we wanted to farm our estate vineyards organically, so we reached out to the CCOF through Enterprise Vineyard Management Company to initiate the process. When the winery was completed in 2007, we applied for our CCOF handlers license for the winery facility and received approval January 2008. To date, all our estate wines were produced from our certified organic vineyards and since 2007 in our now organically certified winery.
To reduce our impact on the surrounding environment, we installed a photovoltaic system that generates the vast majority of our electrical power needs from the sun, for the winery, the water wells, and our estate home. This system produces an average of more than 42 kilowatts of electricity per day. In addition, we recycle our gray water from the winery for use on our landscaping.
In keeping with the philosophy of being good stewards of our surrounding environment, we have chosen to invest in these systems, including the use of recycled packing material whenever practical
Estate Vineyards / AVA
This two-plus-acre Cabernet Sauvignon block cuts a gentle arc just west of the Arrowoods’ home at approximately 1,000 feet in elevation. The northern half shares deep, red, iron oxide soil with the adjacent Monte Rosso Vineyard. The southern portion consists of heavy, gray soil and fractured basaltic rock on an old cobblestone quarry site. Three different irrigations sets serve this small vineyard, budded in 2006 with two French Cabernet Sauvignon clones, 169 and 374, on 1103 Paulson and 110R rootstocks.
FOX TROT MEADOW VINEYARD
These two-plus acres of Cabernet Sauvignon are named for a pair of resident foxes seen trotting down a row together one day at dusk. Located 100 feet below the Montaña Vista block, this parcel faces south and rests in a hillside depression that receives full midday sun but is protected from intense exposure. The sunshine provides 17.5 kilowatts of electricity for our home from photovoltaic panels installed there. Rows run east/west on beautiful rust-colored basaltic soils. Fox Trot was planted in 2001 to clone 337 on low-vigor 101-14 and 1103 Paulson rootstock and has its own irrigation set. Our oldest planting, this vineyard is the last to ripen and sets a modest crop, but gives fruit with great structure and remarkably juicy black cherry fruit.
BOBCAT RUN VINEYARD
A two-plus-acre parcel sitting at nearly 900 feet, this block is divided between Syrah and Grenache Noir with a tiny planting of Viognier to be used in our Alis Cuvee blend. Adjoining this block is one acre planted to Petit Verdot. The block takes its name from a large feline denizen seen flashing by on several occasions. The Syrah, (a selection from the Bieno Nacido clone), Grenache Noir and Viognier are planted in a fairly cool hollow facing southwest. Its rows run east/west for good sun and warmth but not excessive exposure. As the block wraps west around the hillside, the Petit Verdot occupies a small cove sheltered from wind by an oak and madrone forest on three sides. Its rows run north/south and receive afternoon sun. The block was planted in 2004 on 101-14 rootstock and each variety is irrigated separately.
CHINA WALL VINEYARD
A stagecoach road once ran though Amapola Creek. Chinese laborers built a rock wall alongside sections of the road, and part of a 19th-century wall remains near the winery. We decided to call this 12-plus-acre site China Wall. French clone Cabernet Sauvignon was grafted to root stock in 2002 and has produced grapes since 2005. Clones 15 and 337 were grafted onto 1103 Paulson rootstock in the rockier soils and 101-14 in less rocky areas, mostly in north/south rows. The terrain at this elevation of over 400 feet consists of little knolls and swales surrounding two large bowls that face southwest. In the southernmost bowl are grayish white rhyolitic soils, mineral-rich ash that absorbs water and decomposes rapidly. The upper bowl has darker, basaltic soils and seems to produce more cassis and cocoa in addition to black fruit flavors in its wines. Photovoltaic panels here supply an average of 17.5 kilowatts to power the winery daily. Six separate irrigation sets are employed in this block.