The Harbison Estate vineyard was developed in 2005 and planned in small blocks to facilitate micro-framing and enable its wines to express the Estate's varying soil types and selection of Cabernet Sauvignon clones. Rootstock 101-14 was chosen for its superiority in red, volcanic soils and soon after, a special team hand-grafted 4900 plants that make up the vineyard.
The vineyard blocks include The Trail, located along the Silverado Trail near the front of the property and planted to clone 337. Pony Express is the northern-most block and named for the Pony Express stop once on the estate. It is divided between Clone 7 and 337. Horseshoe, the western facing vineyard block and fondly nicknamed for the numerous horseshoes found during development, is planted to clone 7.
Geologically, Harbison Estate is related to hillside immediately to the east, spanning to the top of the Vaca Mountains above Oakville. In the book The Winemaker's Dance (University of California Press, 2004), authors Jonathan Swinchatt and David G. Howell theorize on the creation of the Vaca range and attribute it to volcanic activity nearly 150 million years ago. When the peaks became too high and the mountain too heavy, gravity took over and hundreds of feet of iron-rich, red volcanic soil came tumbling down, creating the foundations for what are now a few but critically acclaimed vineyards of legendary Eastern Oakville.
Red soils have long been touted as ideal for cultivating Cabernet Sauvignon. Its minerality preserves fruit character and creates wines with great freshness and finely grained tannins. It is with this backbone that the wines of Harbison Estate are created.
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