The Ranch Estate
Nestled in the heart of the St. Helena Appellation sits Titus Vineyards’ 50 acre Ranch Estate. This picturesque property sprawls along the base of Howell Mountain, with the Silverado Trail on its Eastern border and the Napa River to its West. Views of the Mayacamus range and Mt. St. Helena are breathtaking at any time of year, most especially from the sun porch of the original 1910 ranch house, for which the estate is aptly named.
When the Titus family purchased the Ranch in 1968 it had already been producing grapes for better than 60 years, along with other fruits, nuts and hay. The original vines of long-since-forgotten varietals like Mondeuce, Burger, and Golden Chasselas were dry-farmed and healthy and were being sold to classic Napa wineries like Beaulieu, Charles Krug, and Cuvaison. But the hot up-valley climate and the site's soils, made up of a mixture of dusty clay, sand, and river loam, were more suited to Bordeaux varietals and hearty Zinfandel. Replanting commenced, and by the mid 70’s the first replant was complete.
The Titus family had joined other grape growers and winemakers in shifting the focus of Napa winemaking away from the jug-wines of the 50’s and 60’s to the production of the high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon wines which Napa Valley is famous for today.
A second replant became necessary in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Clonal Cabernet Sauvignons such as See’s and 337 on vertical drip-system trellises replaced old plantings of dry-farmed, diseased and aging Cabernet. While most of the vineyard was replaced in the layout we see today, the two large blocks of Zinfandel still remain from the original replant done by the Titus family in the 70's. Dry farmed and on St. George rootstock, these 40-year-old vines continue to produce beautiful mature-vine fruit.
The modern-day Titus Ranch Estate is home to 8 different varietals laid out in 16 blocks across the property, with the largest portion still dedicated to Bordeaux varietals, including 5 clones of Cabernet Sauvignon. Most of Titus Vineyards’ wine production comes from the vines on this historic estate; it is also home to some 100 Tuscan varietal olive trees, from which our Titus Vineyards extra virgin olive oil is produced.
The Ehlers Lane Family Estate
Less than a mile north of her sister property is a rocky volcanic knoll rising out of the valley floor. Still located within the St. Helena Appellation, and rather reminiscent of Tuscany with cypress trees lining the drive and olive trees ringing its crest, the property commands a view of Spring and Diamond Mountains to the west, the Vaca range to the east, and a swath of Napa’s finest vineyards between.
Not the least of this view is the Titus family’s 10 acres of Clone 337 Cabernet Sauvignon and some Petite Verdot. Compressed volcanic ash is topped by the highly prized Hambright Rock Outcrop soil known as “Red Gold” in Napa. This dense volcanic soil is tightly packed with stones and boulders, creating difficult growing conditions for the vines. The additional stress of pushing their roots deep enough to access water and nutrients in these conditions results in lower yields at harvest of smaller berries with thicker skins. The resulting fruit from the Ehlers Estate is distinctly different in character from the fruit grown at the Ranch Estate, exhibiting mountainside attributes in this valley floor fruit. Struggling vines = less fruit = better quality. For this reason, Phillip chooses to use these loose clusters of tiny berries to create the Titus Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon each year.