It’s true, the winery is new. But the soil is as old as dirt.
Vintners today have all kinds of tools and technologies to shape their wine, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. But the one thing they can’t control is the soil. Soil is what it is and there’s not a helluva lot you can do about it. So what is soil, exactly?
Soils are complex mixtures of minerals, plants, and microorganisms. They are derived from the decomposition of rocks, a process that can take tens or even hundreds of thousands of years.
Here in Coombsville the soils are a result of volcanic eruptions that occurred some three to five million years ago. The rhyolite tuffs and andesite breccias heaved from the earth are the parent material for nearly all of the soils in these parts. These soils, in turn, have undergone uplift, dispersion and erosion over many thousands of years.
The Vaca Mountains, which form the backdrop of Coombsville, were forced up by plate tectonics, taking layers of sediment up with them. When they reached a height they could no longer sustain, the hillsides came crashing down into the flats. This is the land we farm.
If you think of a vineyard as a vessel for extracting flavor from soil, then what you get when you sip a glass of wine is a taste of Earth’s history.