For our first annual Joseph Jewell monthly newsletter, Co-Founder and Co-Winemaker Adrian Manspeaker shares the history of Appian Way Vineyards and celebrates the release of the 2011 Appian Way Pinot Noir with a special 5-vintage vertical offering. Learn more about this special vineyard in Russian River Valley and the wines produced from it.
Back in August of 2007, Joseph Jewell was just getting off the ground and my partner Micah and I were on the hunt for quality Pinot Noir for our new venture. Pinot Noir was a hot commodity; it was extremely hard to find quality vineyards with fruit to spare. After exhausting all of our options, I turned to Craigslist. Craigslist! Surprisingly, I found an ad for one ½ ton of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, or about one barrel. We quickly inquired about the ad and set up a vineyard visit. Upon our first visit to Appian Way, we knew we had found our match.
Appian Way is a small, 2.5-acre vineyard planted to 100% Pinot Noir with 3 different clones including Dijon clones 115 and 777 as well as Pommard, a Heritage clone. It has Gold Ridge soil, which has a well-draining, fine, sandy loam on the surface and a subsoil of golden-yellow sandy loam and fractured sandstone. This type of soil is derived from the remains of an ancient inland sea that slowly emptied into the Pacific three to five million years ago; it’s particularly valuable for high-quality wine grape production because of its excellent drainage and low soil fertility.
The vineyard is located in the Russian River Valley, just off Highway 116 between Forestville and Graton—the heart of “Pinot Country.” It is also across the street from Gary Farrell’s old vineyard Cresta Ridge, which has been making some of our favorite Pinot Noirs for some time. With close proximity to the coast, the location couldn’t get any better. This part of the Russian River Valley sees a lot of summertime fog, which keeps the grapes nice and cool and allows the fruit to mature at a slow rate. Combined with its diversity of clones, we knew that Appian Way Vineyards offered all the necessary components to craft complex Pinot Noir, and we quickly committed to purchasing the half-ton available for sale.
Since 2007, Appian Way Vineyards has been the source of Joseph Jewell’s commercially produced Pinot Noirs. To celebrate the release of our fifth vintage from this amazing vineyard, we would like to share this piece of our history with you in the form of a library release of 5 vintages of Appian Way Pinot Noir.
This extremely limited* 5-vintage Vertical includes one bottle each of the following:
2007 Appian Way Vineyards – our debut vintage
2008 Appian Way Vineyards – Wine Enthusiast Cellar Selection
2009 Appian Way Vineyards – 93 Points, Wine Enthusiast
2010 Appian Way Vineyards – 94 Points, Pinot File
2011 Appian Way Vineyards – 92 Points, Wine Enthusiast
*There are only 12 verticals available.