High elevation Syrah from Mt. Veeder because “Syrah likes a good view” says winemaker Lore Olds.
Sky produces a tiny amount of Syrah that is all hand-harvest and manually crushed. This wine is dry and medium-bodied with hints of bright red and black fruit, cocoa, blood orange, dried herbs and cigar box. The tannins are smooth and the finish is long with a very subtle touch of pepper.
Organic farming practices. This winery is completely off the grid and solar powered since the 1970s.
Of the noble grape varieties, Syrah may have the oldest geography and history. The vines origins are thought to date back to one of the world’s earliest wine-producing regions, the city of Shiraz in the Middle East. Now worshipped in the Rhône Valley in France, these dark, dense, and powerful wines can be just as distinct as Cabernet Sauvignon. You’ll find this grape also largely grown in Australia, where it is identifiable as Shiraz.
Sometimes known to be “meaty,” think exotic spices and darker meat dishes to help showcase the complexity of these wines. Syrah needs time to show its greatness, but when it does, you’ll be thankful you had a bottle!
Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley, where Cabernet Sauvignon is “King.”The valley itself in Northern California is not very big, but it is home to some of the most expensive and prestigious vineyards in California. Napa is separated from Sonoma and Central Coast by two sets mountain ranges: the Mayacamas Mountains to the west and the Vaca Mountains to the east. Being in a valley, this region can heat up pretty quickly. However, there are cooling influences like fog and ocean breezes from the San Pablo Bay that help to moderate the temperature within the valley. With more heat comes more concentrated, fuller-bodied wines, making this the perfect place for Cabernet Sauvignon. Other primary red grapes of focus are Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc. The principal white varieties to look for here are Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. You may also find Pinot Noir in the more southerly area of Los Carneros AVA where it can get cool enough to produce high-quality Pinot Noir. Featured AVA’s include Howell Mountain, Calistoga, St. Helena, Mount Veeder, Los Carneros, Stags Leap District, Oakville, and Rutherford.
“Sky Vineyards is perched high between Napa and Sonoma valleys, nestled near the crown of Mt. Veeder and open to the expansive sky, with fourteen acres planted at an elevation of 2100 feet on the eastern-facing hillside, our Zinfandel and Syrah vines ripen through sunny days and fog-cooled evenings into intense berries. The reddish volcanic soil and unique physical characteristics of Sky produce a wine that faithfully reflects where it was grown and the care and attention it receives at every step of the process.
Sky Vineyards strives to incorporate sustainable practices into the cultivation of the vines and operation of the winery. We have been farming organically for over a decade. Responsible practices include use of permanent cover crops, dry farming, promotion of birds and beneficial insects, minimal water use at the winery and a diminutive carbon footprint. Sky is off the power grid and relies on solar panels and minimal generator use to power our activities.
Our intensely flavored fruit is hand-harvested and fermented in open top one-ton bins. Punch down is performed by hand three times per day. After fermentation, it is pressed in a traditional basket press and aged in French oak barrels. Lore Olds designs the artwork for each new vintage.
Our family has overcome the challenges left by the devastating 2017 Wine Country fires. We lost our home and a portion of our vineyards, but we’re still here and eager to share our special wines with you.”