In 2004, when we committed to making a luxury Cabernet Sauvignon wine from grapes grown in our respective vineyards, we agreed to deepen that commitment through meticulous vineyard and winery practices. Our guiding principles included organic farming methods, restricted yields, multiple cluster sorting and aging in French oak barrels. In 2008, we began the progression from sustainable ‘green’ farming methods and restricted yields to true biodynamic soil cultivation.
Thus, began a relationship with renowned biodynamic soil expert and winemaker, Philippe Armenier. Biodynamic Farming acknowledges the soil as a living organism and utilizes only naturally derived plant and soil treatments. We practice sustainable organic agricultural traditions and nourish the plants naturally.
We believe this fundamental change in soil management reinforces our goal to produce a wine that reveals the exceptional spirit of the “Magic Mountain”. This results in grapes of intense flavor and richness, displaying the true character inherent to the Oakville AVA.
The eleven organically farmed growing sites continue to provide exceptional fruit for Oakville East. Winemaker Sarah Gott is enthusiastic about the quality that has become a hallmark of these vineyards. “Every growing season is unique, with a singular impact on each varietal and vineyard. These expertly managed vineyards combine magnificently to produce an age-worthy wine of complex flavors, focused tannins and superb color.”
Featuring east-west facing rows, the small, compact Cabernet Sauvignon berry clusters, characteristic of the Stern Vineyard, ripen evenly and produce a serious wine with great style for Oakville East. The vineyard encompasses three micro-plantings with a total of 1000 vines: “Divot” planted to Cabernet Sauvignon in 1997, “On the Rocks” and “Side Hill Lie” planted to Cabernet Franc in 2000.
Planted in 1993, and boasting an open west-facing exposure with perfect elevations between 600 and 960 feet, these 17 year old vines play a strong role in the middle palate so sought after in Haut Brion style blends. The Saunders six and a half acre, high density planted, vineyard produces excellent Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot. These grapes exhibit intense color and concentration that contribute considerable finesse to Oakville East.
Planted in 1999, the Lopez’ 1500 vine Cabernet Sauvignon one acre vineyard, lies closest to the valley floor. The fruit from this ten-year-old vineyard exhibits the true character of its location, offering softness and elegance to the Oakville East blend.
Steep and terraced, the two-acre Harter Vineyard is rocky and well drained, yielding Cabernet Sauvignon with excellent structure. It is the backbone of the Oakville East blend. The terraced block was planted in 1990 with 1300 vines, followed by the vertical trellis block with 700 vines planted in 1997. The Harter Family planted their newest block of 660 new Cabernet vines in the spring of 2008.
Extremely steep and planted in horizontal and vertical blocks that face the setting sun, the Cabernet Sauvignon from this 3.5 acre vineyard produced grapes that added intensity to the middle palate and assisted the long lingering finish in the wines. Beginning with the 2009 vintage, OE was fortunate enough to begin to receive all of the fruit from the Buselli “Upper” vineyard. The yield from this vineyard that was planted in 1994 was just over 2 tons per acre.