Our Vineyards

The Vines & Sustainability

Under the guidance of Vineyard Manager John Gorman, every block of Stuhlmuller Vineyard receives extensive personal attention. Farmed with an eye towards the individual needs of each varietal and every block, John implements tailor trellising and pruning methods based on an overall understanding of each site on the vineyard.

A firm believer in terroir-inspired wines, winemaker Zac Childers works closely with John to produce fruit with balance and concentration. To achieve this, the Stuhlmuller team limits yields through vine training, pruning, thinning and fruit drops.

Stuhlmuller’s vineyard operations are certified sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.  Stuhlmuller has many sustainable practices that their team uses to farm their vineyards and be stewards of their land including regulating their water supply to ensure they conserve water, tilling every other row to prevent erosion and maintain soil quality, planting cover crops to enhance the soil health, maintaining their vines canopy to prevent fungus growth, and using cattle to reduce wildfire risk.  This commitment to quality in their vineyards has helped to establish Stuhlmuller Vineyards as one of the area’s premier producers of Estate fruit.

Chardonnay

The Chardonnay plantings are divided into six blocks on well-drained, gravelly benchland soils adjacent to the Russian River and on rocky, volcanic hillside soils.  Planted with budwood sourced from the famed Gauer Upper Barn Vineyard, an old Wente clone of Chardonnay and hand-selected 4 and 15 clones of Chardonnay, these clones produce small clusters and berries with complex character. The area’s fog, breezes, and cool nighttime temperatures give the Chardonnay grapes a reprieve from the afternoon heat and allow them time to develop elegant tropical flavors and crisp acidity. The soil itself imparts a distinctive mineral quality to the fruit.

Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cabernet Sauvignon is divided into eleven benchland and hillside blocks. The benchlands alluvial gravel soils provide an excellent terroir for Cabernet Sauvignon while the sloping sections of the vineyard are comprised of alluvial and uplifted benchland soil, sandy loam, gravel, and rocks. The days are warm and dry, and the nights are cooled by the wind and fog, which slows ripening and ensures the grapes retain acidity as they develop sugars and varietal character. The soil is thin in some sections of the vineyard, which reduces vine vigor and produces low yields of small, intensely flavored berries. The fruit exhibits subtle notes of herb and olive, along with the rich cherry, black fruit, and cocoa characteristics that personify the Alexander Valley terroir.

Zinfandel

Two special blocks have been set aside for growing small amounts of Zinfandel. These vines are head trained to augment the natural intensity of the hillside fruit. The budwood for this Zinfandel came from the prized 120-year-old Teldeschi clone, a legendary selection from Dry Creek Valley. The Zinfandel is dry farmed to produce, small, concentrated clusters that produce rich flavors in the wine with dark red and blue fruit, along with holiday spices and white pepper.

Stuhlmuller Vineyard provides grapes to the following wineries: