The vineyards are planted exclusively to varieties originally from the Rhone Valley at 2700 feet in the Sierra Foothills’ El Dorado Wine Country.
The first vineyard, fifteen acres of Syrah, was planted in 1998. The vines are trained on a quadrilateral trellising system to obtain maximum fruit quality by limiting vigor and maximizing light penetration. The vines line steeply terraced slopes with 360 degrees of exposure due to the circular lay of the land. The first crop was harvested in October of 2000. Beginning in 2006, parts of this vineyard have been grafted over to other varieties so that the winery can fully utilize all of the production. Counoise, Grenache Blanc, Petite Sirah, Carignane, Cinsaut, and Picpoul have all been added.
The second vineyard was planted in 2000 on the adjacent hill. Due to the family’s love of Rhone wines and the fact that Rhone grapes grow so well in El Dorado, they planted Counoise, Grenache, and Mourvedre (all red Rhones) and Roussanne and Viognier (Rhone whites). The reds are head trained to allow close spacing which will force the vines to compete for nutrients and result in maximum flavors. The whites are trained using Vertical Shoot Positioning for ideal sun exposure. This vineyard is laid out on steep terraces, like the Syrah, and is south-facing.
as it has been done in the Rhone Valley of France for centuries
Although the winery is in California, Holly’s Hill wines have a distinctive old world flair. Emphasis is placed on the fruit itself and interventions throughout the aging process are infrequent and minor. Only French oak is used and preferably neutral barrels without the vanilla, astringency and tannins of new barrels. Carrie and Josh also use larger volume casks as it has been done in the Rhone Valley of France for centuries. The wines are only racked if needed allowing for further concentrations of flavors to develop from the lees at the bottom of the barrels. White wines generally spend about six months in barrels and reds eleven months. Syrah on the other hand ages for up to two years before bottling. The Patriarche blend is the first wine put together each year getting only the best lots of estate fruit.
Holly’s Hill Vineyards is a certified farm under the Fish Friendly Farming® program. Fish Friendly Farming® provides a third party certification that documents sustainable, environmentally-friendly land practices that benefit the farmer and the environment.
Fish Friendly Farming® is operated by The California Land Stewardship Institute. More info can be found at http://www.fishfriendlyfarming.org.
Planted at Holly’s Hill Vineyards
Holly’s Hill is completely focused on producing Rhone varietal wines and blends. In fact, the estate vineyards are composed entirely of Rhone varieties including Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, and Counoise. The winery produces varietal wines, a dry Rosé, and red and white blends.