"Terroir" - Climate and Soil... 
Revealed by the Vine... Through the Hand of Man

Coombsville Appellation

Harry's Vineyard - 122.13W 38.17 N

Coombsville AppellationAltitude: 500 ft

Slope: 20%.

Soil Type: The soil technically belongs to the Aiken series. The soils formed in weathered basic volcanic rock, is a beautiful red brown color. It is shallow with the western side of the vineyard being the shallowest and rockiest.

Vineyard: The vineyard is planted to three Cabernet Sauvignon clones: predominantly clone 337 with a little bit of 191 and 341. All three clones are grafted to the rootstock 101.14. The planting density is 4 ft by 6 ft.

The terroir of this vineyard is very strong marker of wines to the extent that it almost overwhelms the varietal. The property also grows Cabernet franc and Petit Verdot, which I make into wine for another winery. The Cabernet Franc resembles the Cabernet Sauvignon to a surprising extent; it is only a little lighter. It is very rare when the terroir trumps the varietal which show the strength of this vineyard.


The Coombsville wine region is located east of the town of Napa. The region is part of the proposed Tulocay AVA which has a distinctive climate from the rest of Napa Valley.

The area is influenced by the cool winds of the San Pablo bay and is therefore fairly close the weather of the Carneros Appellation but perhaps a little warmer and less windy. The climate is notable for its morning fog and it has cooler than Napa Valley average daytime temperatures. This makes for a long slow growing period that allows for extended "hang time". Harvest for Cabernet Sauvignon is often late October running into November, it is one of the last areas harvested in the Napa Valley. Because of its cool weather the wines do not tend to develop overripe characters like in the warmer areas of Napa.