Glen Ellen, CA - Wellington Vineyards is owned by the father and son team of John and Peter Wellington. John purchased the winery site in 1986. At the time, it consisted of 20 acres of old vines and a few decrepit old fruit and nut trees. Replanting of part of the old vineyard and orchard started in 1988. The winery was completed in time for the 1989 crush. We grow approximately half the grapes we use and purchase the remainder, primarily from small, unique vineyards.
Composition: 86.5% Roussanne, 13.5% Marsanne
Vineyard: 19% Estate, 81% Saralee’s Vineyard
Production: 341 cases
Release Date: October, 2009
Roussanne is a variety that has been grown for centuries, in Northern Rhone locations like Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, St. Joseph and St. Peray. These specific grapes carried the aroma of apricot and tropical fruit, ending in a big, fat wine, like honey, which goes well with the floral fruity flavors and the texture.
The Wellington Estate vineyards consist of 21 acres, 8 of which are 85 to 117 years old. There are 24 different varieties in the old vineyard, with the most common being Zinfandel, Carignane, Alicante Bouschet, Grenache and Syrah. In addition, there are 10 acres of eleven to sixteen year old vines that consist of Merlot, Chardonnay, Marsanne, and Syrah. Three more acres were replanted in 2001, predominantly to Syrah, Zinfandel and Grenache.
Saralee's Vineyard - Russian River Valley
Two white varietals of France's northern Rhône, Marsanne and Roussanne have found surging popularity in California. Given the high demand for Rhône whites, it's extremely difficult to find top-quality fruit. The vineyard is situated within two miles of the Russian River, with a soil composition of sandy-clay-loam that matches particularly well with these Pinot Noir vines. The vineyard has a Northern/Southern exposure and is at 150 ft. above sea level making for fog engulfed summer morning allowing for a slow maturation of the grapes.
The moderate temperatures and precision farming at this Russian River site make for a perfect match for these varietals. Planted in 2002 in well draining sandy-loam soils, Saralee's is a high density site, with vines spread just 4 feet apart. They're cropped to a single cluster per shoot, the same aggressive viticulture practices we use for the Russian River Viognier. Detailed vine identification maps for each vine in the entire operation indicate all varietals, clones, and rootstocks, linking them to specific individual mother vines at UC Davis Foundation Blocks, thus helping vintners to make varietal selections and clonal blends. You will find no better source for grape industry needs than The Vineyards of Rich and Saralee.
This is a plein air painting by Georgia Simons painted at Saralee Vineyards.