We were certain that our stony slope would be hospitable to Bordeaux's most noble varietals, but we were committed to some controversial new ideas in our attempt to grow the best possible fruit. We divided our small vineyard into micro-blocks of five distinguished clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, two clones of Merlot, two clones of Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. We painstakingly laboratory tested our budwood, bypassing customary heat treatment. We knew that it would be worth the risk if the result were a truly distinctive wine.
A no-compromise strategy was agreed upon, resulting in a dense planting of the vines on a variety of rootstocks carefully matched to the soil. Labor intensive cane pruning, meticulous canopy management and nutritional monitoring were employed. New levels of quality control were introduced with the installation of a radio telemetry weather station that downloads data to our computerized vineyard management program, along with neutron probes to monitor soil moisture.
When we harvested our first crop of richly flavored berries, we knew it was worth the effort.