Climate & Topography
Susanna’s slope aspect rolls gently from back to front facing almost completely due east. As the early morning fog breaks the sun baths the vineyard in a warming embrace. The afternoon heat is balanced by longer shadows caused by the slope and cooling effect of the west winds as they pour in across the Sebastopol Hills two hours earlier than they do at Quail Hill Vineyard
Naturally, our farming philosophy is all about sustainability. As farmers, our greatest and most valuable commodity is the land on which we operate. Soil is an organism and keeping the land healthy and viable is just plain common sense. We are not only farming for a single vintage, we are farming for generations of vintages.
Owl boxes have been installed at a ratio of one for every two acres. This high density allows for owls, who don’t typically hunt directly beneath their own home, to cover the entire vineyard by overlapping territories and hunting under each others’ boxes. Gopher mounds, which earlier pock-marked this entire property, have become a rare sight as the Barn Owls’ favorite staple. This has allowed us to cover crop the vineyard, wall to wall, with a permanent cover crop of native California bunch grasses.
All kinds of mitigation measures had to be taken to make sure the Gold ridge soil drained perfectly and the nema toads would not proliferate. Once done, the new vineyard was named Susanna’s after Anisya’s grandmother. However, we honor the heritage of the Silveira family with a plaque in the vineyard.
In 2010, we released our first Chardonnay from this vineyard – now a favorite among our guests, Susanna’s Chardonnay. This year, we released our first two pinot noirs from Susanna’s vineyard – Susanna’s Pinot and Anisya’s blend.