The 40+ acre, turn-of-the century vineyard that Lee and Ruth Titus bought in 1968 had been producing grapes for sixty years. Situated on the banks of the Napa River in the heart of Napa Valley, the vineyards were comprised of widely-spaced dry-farmed vines on the vigorous St. George rootstock. The Titus family continued to farm these healthy, productive vines for another ten to fifteen years. Lee and Ruth acquired two additional parcels, totaling 20 acres. One parcel was adjacent the original acquisition, a hayfield in deep river loam soil; the other was a stony volcanic knoll rising out of the valley floor not far from Napa River. These two new parcels were planted to Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, respectively.
After those parcels were planted, Lee and Ruth replanted their original vineyard. By the mid 1970's the old blocks were sequentially replaced with then-popular modern varietals, such as Zinfandel, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, some planted on the St. George rootstock, and some on the AXR rootstock that was becoming more commonly used at that time.
The tribulations of time and the infestation of the phylloxera disease made another replanting effort necessary in the mid-1990's. At that time, diseased and weakening vines were replanted to varietals better suited for the hot upvalley climate, on disease resistant rootstocks matched for the specific soil types.
Clonal selections were made to better suit the parameters that were required for the highest quality wines. Dry-farmed,"California-sprawl" trellising systems were replaced with close-spaced vertical trellis systems with automatic drip irrigation systems. The replanting efforts were essentially completed in 2001. Cabernet Sauvignon (our flagship wine) is now the predominant estate varietal, although ample acreage is also dedicated to the Bordeaux blending varietals, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, as well as a small amount of Petite Sirah. Ten acres of Zinfandel from the 1970's are still in full production, gradually maturing and taking on the old-vine characteristics so sought after in this unique heritage wine.