People have been making wine for centuries and today winemaking continues
to be both a science and an art. Winemakers come to their craft with
varied backgrounds and experiences, have different winemaking styles
and, more importantly, have different opinions on what makes a good
bottle of wine.
However there is one aspect of winemaking that all winemakers will agree on:
YOU HAVE TO START WITH TOP QUALITY WINE GRAPES TO MAKE A TOP QUALITY WINE.
Put another way, you can make a great wine from great quality wine grapes but you cannot make a great wine with from mediocre wine grapes! GREAT WINES START IN THE VINEYARD!
From the very beginning Naggiar Vineyards spared no expense in establishing
the vineyards and adhering to the best farming practices available to
the grape growing business. The Naggiars found a 160 acres site with
ideal grape growing conditions in the Sierra Foothills between Auburn
and Grass Valley.
At 1300 ft elevation the property sits on a large knoll with gentle hillside slopes and experiences the warm days and cool nights essential for growing top quality grapes. The estate vineyards consist of 50 acres planted with 12 different varieties of grapes which provide the flexibility and choice of creating the best varietal wines or the best possible blends.
|Varieties planted in the estate vineyards were chosen to best match the soil and conditions of the different locations of the 160 acre site.|
During vineyard development every effort was made to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Old oak trees were kept for both wildlife habitat and aesthetic reasons. Vine rows were planted across hillsides and cover crops and were used to minimize erosion. Barn owl boxes were installed throughout the vineyard to help with gopher and rodent control.
State of the art grape growing practices are essential to producing
top quality grapes. Vines are carefully pruned in the spring to control
the quality of the fruit produced. Weather stations and soil moisture
sensors monitor weather conditions in the vineyard and assist with watering
and spraying decisions.
Managing the vine canopy throughout the growing season is also crucial to the development of quality grapes. Vertical, clean vines; vines that have a good balance of shoots and grapes clusters, and fruit that is partially exposed to sunlight all contribute to quality grapes.
The result of this meticulous attention to detail produces top quality grapes, which in turn affords a good winemaker to use his or her skills to the fullest in making top quality, exciting and delicious wines.
Growing Top Quality Fruit
After growing premium quality fruit, harvesting decisions
also play a role in making quality wine. At Naggiar Vineyards all fruit
is hand picked, a labor intensive but important step in minimizing damage
to the grape clusters. Harvesting is done at night using lights mounted
on tractors. This insures that the fruit is picked in cool weather and
that the grapes are delivered to the winery for crushing early in the
day, thus preserving maximum freshness.
In summary, the quality of the fruit is one of the most important factors in determining the quality of our wine. Our mission at Naggiar Vineyards is "TO BE THE TOP QUALITY GROWER OF WINE GRAPES IN THE SIERRA FOOTHILLS, THEREBY PRODUCING SOME OF THE BEST, MOST EXITING AND DELICIOUS WINES FOR OUR CUSTOMERS"
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After searching for 3 years for a suitable vineyard site, we found a 160 acre site with ideal wine grape growing conditions in the Sierra Foothills between Auburn and Grass Valley. The 160 acre site sits on a large knoll with gentle hillside slopes providing good breezes and air circulation while at the same time reasonable hillside tractor access conditions.
Approximately 15 backhoe pits were dug across the site and soil samples taken and analyzed to determine the suitability of soil chemistry and physical factors for vineyard development. As expected the samples showed good soil conditions with much of the site including rocky soils providing for good drainage conditions.
Historical weather conditions were examined. The site sits at 1300 ft elevation in an open valley with most of the hillsides facing east, south and south west. The site provides for warm days with cooling afternoon breezes and 30F cooler nights. Because of its micro climate the site also experiences cold winters with occasional snowfalls.
After purchasing the land in 1997 we set out preparing the site. Brush and boulders were removed while keeping most old growth oak trees.
To ensure good soil growing conditions the site was deep ripped and deep slip plowed to a depth of 4 to 5 feet. This was done in 4 feet increments in both north/south and east/west directions.
The result was a thorough top down and bottom up mixing of compacted soil layers making soil conditions ideal for young vine establishment.
Site specific infrastructure was then developed. A 7 1/2 foot deer fence was installed enclosing approximately 80 acres of the site for Phase I development.
A one acre surface area and 20 ft deep pond was built to ensure that an adequate reserve of water would be available at all times of the year.