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Winemaking Philosophy
Vineyards and Appellations


Vineyards and Appellations
At Artesa Vineyards & Winery, everything begins in the vineyards. Our winemaker realizes the value of meticulous farming practices.

Much as a chef is limited by the quality, freshness and diversity of raw ingredients, winemakers can never improve the quality of the grapes brought to the winery. They can only strive to maintain it.

Best vineyards and appellations
With that in mind, our winemaker applies his experience to secure the most outstanding vineyards in the foremost appellations for each variety we produce. Our sources include California's best– the Alexander Valley, Carneros, Atlas Peak and Napa Valley.

What makes a vineyard outstanding?
Terrific terroir
First, it's the location - the combination of climate and geography that the French call "terroir." We look at a multitude of important factors–soil types, terrain, exposure, drainage, rain, fog and wind, to name a few.

Finest vines
Next we consider the vines themselves–rootstock, grape variety, clones or selections of that variety, trellising systems, vine spacings and a whole host of cultural practices. We farm vineyards that are carefully adapted to their terroir. We know that balanced vines will make balanced wines.

Vineyard management
Equally as important is the professionalism of our Vineyard Manager. Growing the finest grapes today involves the myriad details of site-specific viticulture–that is, matching every practice to the unique characteristics of an individual vineyard, a single block within the vineyard, or even a small portion of that block.

Quality control
How do we ensure the utmost in quality? When we purchase grapes, we select the finest vineyards and growers–and then we pay top dollar. But we also exercise control through long-term, very specific contracts. Finally, we communicate with and advise our growers through our winemaker.

Artesa estates
By far, our largest source of grapes is our own property. Our 352-acre estate surrounding the winery in the Carneros region of Napa Valley has over 150 acres of vineyard. Our estate boasts impressive diversity in terrain, vineyard spacing and a total of 20 clones and selections of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

In the northern Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, our 409-acre Ridgeline property is ideal for the Bordeaux sister varieties - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot–as well as Tempranillo. Our plantings there encompass over 90 acres all of it hillside vineyard with superb exposures.

And on Atlas Peak in Napa Valley at an elevation of 1500 feet resides our Foss Valley estate another 90 acre mountain vineyard devoted to growing world class Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sustainable agriculture
In all of our vineyards, we practice minimalist, sustainable agriculture. Our vineyards are models for erosion and sediment control. We employ cover crops to prevent erosion and provide a natural environment for predatory insects. This integrated approach to pest management allows us to greatly reduce or eliminate even the most benign insecticides. We make a constant, concerted effort to be good stewards of our land.