Active, youthful 2 million year-old Limestone provides balancing acidity to all of our wines while the thin layer of dense clay topsoil above allows retention of moisture. Because of this one-two combo, we can withhold irrigation from the roots, forcing them to dig deep into the white rock and absorb all that terroir!
Daily mistrals originate from the cold Arctic flow of Pacific Ocean pushing through our fully-exposed hillsides. The Mojave far to our east sucks up the cold air as its desert heat rises – the vacuum creates a perennial wind tunnel through Ballard Canyon rivaling the Northern Rhone in force and relentlessness. Our hearty vines continue to photosynthesize in the wind but the fluttering leaves don’t suck for water. The wind also knocks down fungal pressure so we rarely have to spray even organic fungicides.
Unsheltered from the Pacific, as soon as night falls, temperatures drop an average of 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the growing season. Not only does the cold nightly rejuvenation help hold acidity through our long growing season, but we also nocturnally harvest to lock in the taut freshness from the crisp conditions.
Rain? For better or worse, it seldom rains during the growing season. Combined with our dedication to dry farming - concentrated, undiluted grapes result. We only pray for healthy winter rains during dormancy so the vines wake up sensing enough moisture to get through the summer. Perhaps the largest impact of our annual dry stretch - the root-louse Phyllloxera doesn’t like to be parched. We get away – knock on wood- with own-rooting vulnerable Vinifera rather than grafting onto root-stock. Today, 60% of the vines at Stolpman are own-rooted.
Located at 34.6 degrees latitude, our equatorial solar rays help to ripen the grapes through the long, cool growing season. The sunlight stays strong, seeing us through our Autumn harvest. We rely on it to yellow our Chenin Blanc and paint our Roussanne a “Rouss” shade of gold.