Meet China Bowl!

September 27, 2011

     Exciting times, it looks like we’re about to start in on crushing the grapes for our flagship Cabernet Sauvignon! Since this is far and away the variety we make the most of, we will likely be picking it for quite some time from our various estate sites.  The grapes for our first Cab pick on Thursday will come from the China Bowl block.

 China Bowl is our “largest” (a hair under 6 acres), and most complicated, vineyard. It sits towards the foot of the property, maybe an eighth of a mile down from the winery, and is planted entirely to Cabernet Sauvignon. It gets its name from the big pile of stones that have been dry-stacked into a rough wall along the northwestern edge of the vineyard.

The stones were put in place back when the land was being prepared for planting. The field was tilled and all of the large stones that were likely to interfere with the vines’ roots were pulled up and set aside. Originally the resulting pile earned this block the name ‘Great Wall of China’, and over time, because of the bowl shape of the land, it evolved into ‘China Bowl’.

This picture was taken from the middle of the vineyard, you can still see the rock wall in the distance towards the left hand side.

As you can see from this picture, the terrain within this block is pretty varied. Not only are there myriad slopes and flats, there are several different soil types to take into consideration while farming. Since different sections of this block can wind up needing different treatments, we’ve actually ended up putting in a number of separate irrigation systems to keep everything happy. We also generally do not pick all of the fruit from this block at once, this Thursday we’re only planning to take about five or six tons from the ripest areas.

It’s a tricky site, but the quality of the fruit does not disappoint; the complex terrain ends up delivering a wine with equally complex characteristics.

To visit the main Amapola Creek Winery website please click here.

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