Vineyards - The Wine Begins Here

The grapes for Peterson wines are grown in small, traditionally farmed vineyards, primarily in the Dry Creek Valley. Though each vintage varies from year to year due to weather factors, the vineyard locations remain the same. And since all Peterson wines originate from the same small plantings, there is a true consistency of place that is reflected in our wines.

Peterson’s Estate Vineyard:

Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard, at the western edge of Dry Creek Valley, is 32 acres on the very top of the mountain that Fred cleared and planted mostly in the 1980s. Fred took great pains to search for the proper varietals and clones to plant in the mineral-rich mountain soil. This vineyard produces our Cabernet Sauvignon, Agraria (Cab Franc/Merlot blend), Bradford Mountain Zinfandel, Big Pink Rosé, GCM and other future Grenache based blends, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Malbec, Petite Sirah, and the famous Gravity Flow Block produces our Syrah.

Mountain vineyards consistently produce the greatest wines in California. The Bradford Mountain vineyard, elevation 1000 feet, reinforces this claim. Well-drained, red-clay soil, combined with sunny days and cool nights produce small, intensely flavored grapes with a higher acidity and a lower pH than valley fruit. These grapes are picked at a higher sugar to achieve the perfect balance for exceptional wines.

The combination of the varied mountaintop conditions, including drainage, sun exposure, and soil compositions, creates a variety of grapes with intense fruit structure and excellent characteristics for producing age-worthy wines.

Peterson Wines Produced from this vineyard:

  • Bradford Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Bradford Mountain Zinfandel
  • Agraria Big Barn Red
  • GCM Blend
  • “The Big Pink” Rosé
  • Gravity Flow Block Syrah
  • Click Here for an in-depth overview of our Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard (PDF)

Other vineyards that grow grapes for Peterson wines:

Bernier Zinyard is also a traditional dry-farmed vineyard with Italo Sbragio’s old clone Zin grafted on the St. George rootstock. That combination embodies the very roots of Dry Creek Valley viticulture. It reflects Peterson Winery’s values of savoring and embracing time-honored traditions. The growers, Paul and Yael Bernier, have recently planted a small amount of Petite Sirah that will be blended with the Zinfandel.

Peterson Wine Produced from this vineyard:

  • Bernier Zinyard Zinfandel

Tollini Vineyard is located in Mendocino County’s Redwood Valley. The Carignane grapes used for our “Zero Manipulation” Red Table Wine are predominantly grown in the Tollini “Wildvines” Vineyard. The vineyard was planted by Alvin Tollini’s father when he returned from the service after World War II, and it is a traditional head-trained, dry-farmed Carignane vineyard. In addition to the Carignane, we also blend in a small amount of Tollini-grown Petite Sirah into the Zero Manipulation.
With the 2009 harvest, we started getting some Barbera from Alvin, as well as Grenache, and have expanded our series of “Mmm-mmMendocino” Wines.

Peterson Wines produced from this vineyard:

  • Zero Manipulation Red Table Wine
  • Donna Bella Rosé
  • “La Stupenda” Barbera
  • Mendo Blendo

The Timber Crest Farms Vineyard is adjacent to our winery, and the source for our Sauvignon Blanc. It was planted in 2001 on the valley floor by 4th generation Dry Creek Valley farmer Randy Peters. The vineyard rows run east to west, with cane pruning, so limited leaf pulling is necessary during the growing season. The soil is a yellow sandy loam, with the wines grafted on rootstock 101-14. These factors all contribute to the classic Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc characteristics found in the wine.

Peterson Wine produced from this vineyard:

  • Sauvignon Blanc

The West Vineyard is the source of our Tradizionale Zin. It is an 80 year-old dry-farmed, head-trained Zinfandel vineyard on a hillside in the southeast corner of Dry Creek Valley. This is a traditional field-blend vineyard; a small portion is planted with mixed black varieties such as Petite Sirah, Carignane and Mataro (aka Mourvedre), along with a few white grape varieties. I worked with the grower, Tom West, on a more recent planting in the vineyard that has become the source of our Petite Sirah, as well as some younger vine Zinfandel for our Dry Creek blend.

Peterson Wines Produced from this vineyard:

  • Tradizionale Zinfandel
  • Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

In the early 1990’s,Teldeschi Vineyards owner and long time Dry Creek Valley grapegrower Ray Teldeschi got Sangiovese budwood from Fred off Norton Ranch. Fred had planted Sangiovese at Norton Ranch in the late 1980’s. Ray planted the vines on his “home ranch” vineyard, which is next door to our winery on the eastern Dry Creek bench. Sitting above the valley floor with a Southwest exposure, this vineyard site is perfectly suited for the finicky Sangiovese grape.

Peterson Wines Produced from this vineyard:

  • Il Granaio Sangiovese
  • Dry Creek Sangiovese

The Borkow Vineyard lies on the Northeastern side of the Dry Creek Valley on Canyon Road. It’s a steep hillside vineyard, with rows running up the slope, and the vines are trained to a wire for more support and optimization of sun exposure. The Zinfandel from this vineyard adds a floral component to our Dry Creek Zin and Zero Manipulation blends, and is the basis for our Old School Zinfandel.

Peterson Wines Produced from this vineyard:

  • Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
  • Old School Zinfandel

The Funsten Vineyard is off Lytton Springs Road, overlooking the Dry Creek Valley floor on the Eastern benchland. It is also adjacent to the former location of Peterson Winery. The soil has a larger percentage of clay and gravel resulting in lower yields of intensely flavored and balanced fruit. This is one of the sources for our Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel blend.

Peterson Wine Produced from this vineyard:

  • Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

Lipton-Daniel Vineyard occupies just a portion of the organic orchard that surrounds the home of Doug Lipton and Cindy Daniel in the heart of Dry Creek Valley. When Doug and Cindy approached me a few years ago regarding what type of grapes to plant in their Dry Creek Valley organic farm, I raised the idea of growing a field-blend of Muscat Blanc and Orange Muscat. They liked the idea and after working with them to get the vineyard up and producing, I jumped at the chance to make a wine from their Muscat grapes. Planted to Muscat Blanc (85%) and Orange Muscat (15%), the vines are head trained and farmed to produce the most aromatic, intensely Muscat flavored grapes.

Peterson Wine Produced from this vineyard:

  • Home Farm Muscat Blanc – a dessert wine