Struggle and stress best define the growing conditions for this Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. We planted our Helena Montana Vineyard on the foothills of Mount St. Helena which rises more than 4,000 feet above sea level. This distinctive, two-peaked mountain remains the heart of an ancient volcanic zone responsible for the complex, mineral-rich soils of Knights Valley and nearby grape-growing districts.
Running northeast to southwest on the eastern side of scenic Highway 128, the Helena Mountain vineyard offers ever-changing topography. Rolling hills abut steep benches with slopes of up to 30 degrees. This juxtaposition of hills, knolls, and trees routes cool, westerly winds away from the vines. Planting vines perpendicular to the prevailing winds provides even more protection. A pure mountain stream and rocky ridge separate this vineyard from our Helena Dakota vineyard.
Distinctive yellow-white soil that does not yield easily to touch typifies this vineyard. This pale, sandy, and gravelly loam at first glance resembles solid rock. A stringent pruning process forces the roots of vines down through this firm soil strata rather than allowing them to grow parallel to the surface as they would on their own. All the same, the roots do not deeply penetrate the earth, which results in smaller, more stressed vines than those of our neighboring Helena Dakota vineyard.
The flavor profile is of dark fruits, candied cherries, smoke, spice, and muscular tannins, aging potential is 20+ years.