China Wall Vineyard

A stagecoach road once ran though Amapola Creek. Chinese laborers built a rock wall alongside sections of the road, and part of a 19th-century wall remains near the winery. We decided to call this 12-plus-acre site China Wall. French clone Cabernet Sauvignon was grafted to root stock in 2002 and has produced grapes since 2005. Clones 15 and 337 were grafted onto 1103 Paulson rootstock in the rockier soils and 101-14 in less rocky areas, mostly in north/south rows. The terrain at this elevation of over 400 feet consists of little knolls and swales surrounding two large bowls that face southwest. In the southernmost bowl are grayish white rhyolitic soils, mineral-rich ash that absorbs water and decomposes rapidly. The upper bowl has darker, basaltic soils and seems to produce more cassis and cocoa in addition to black fruit flavors in its wines. Photovoltaic panels here supply an average of 17.5 kilowatts to power the winery daily. Six separate irrigation sets are employed in this block.