Our estate vineyards are located at two separate sites in El Dorado County, and are managed by Rick Wickham of Meyers Ranch.
Stoney Creek Vineyard
Stoney Creek Vineyard is at our winery site in the unique Fair Play AVA, which sits at the highest average elevation (2,200 feet) in the country. Situated on a saddleback ridgeline at 2,700 feet, its steep slopes and various aspects accommodate a wide range of varietals, clones, and rootstocks. The coarse, sandy soils are varied, but are similar in that they’re mainly comprised of decomposed granite, which limits yields and adds complexity and minerality to the finished wines. Stoney Creek’s 2,700 foot elevation means temperatures are about 2-5 degree cooler than other Foothills regions, with moderating breezes that upslope from the delta as temperatures rise throughout the day. In the evenings, cool air drains down from the Sierra, creating a terroir that is unique to Skinner Vineyards.
- Red Varietals:
- Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Counoise, Zinfandel, Carignan, Trousseau, Petite Bouschet, Mission
- White Varietals:
- Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc, Trousseau Gris
- Fair Play
- 2,300 – 2,740 feet
- 67 acres, 18 planted
White Oak Vineyard
White Oak Vineyard is located in Rescue, California adjacent to the original J. Skinner property. At 1,400 feet elevation, its soils are alluvial in nature, a result of sediment and soil coming down from the Sierra. A common base layer of decomposed granite is found throughout the vineyard, which acts as a barrier to the roots. Blocks vary in depth and composition depending on the contours, and varietals and rootstocks are matched accordingly. Iron rich, red, volcanic loam and some clay make up the soil profile with small-to-large chunks of granite and quartz scattered throughout the strata at all depths.
- Red Varietals:
- Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Carignan
- White Varietals:
- Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc
- El Dorado
- 1,400 feet
- 25 acres, 12 planted
We purchase fruit from a few small vineyards around the county, which give us the chance to work with different soils, aspects, and slopes, and provide us with grapes of various styles, nuances, and complexity. With the exception of Sumu Kaw Vineyard, all of these sites are farmed by respected vineyard manager Ron Mansfield.
The Sumu Kaw Vineyard, farmed by the Bush family, sits at 2,800 feet and has an atypical Northerly aspect. This consistently contributes acidity and nuance to our El Dorado Grenache, and typically makes up a large portion of the wine. Sumu Kaw also contributes Marsanne and Roussanne to our Seven Generations White Blend.
The Fenaughty Vineyard sits at about 2,600 feet and makes up the core of our El Dorado Grenache, as well as a small amount of Syrah for our El Dorado Syrah. Typically, it adds concentration, color, and structure to these wines.
We also work with the small but coveted Elenridge Vineyard, which sits at about 1,800 feet and overlooks the South Fork of the American River. This crescent-shaped site is carved into a yellow-tinged, sandy and rocky hillside which benefits from consistent breezes channeling up from the river basin below. The fruit makes up the core of our El Dorado Mourvedre and Roussanne, along with our Seven Generations White blend.
The Swansboro Vineyard is meticulously farmed by the Chapman family and is located in the remote hamlet of Swansboro. We source Grenache, Mourvedre and Grenache Blanc from this vineyard, which always seems to express itself in a delicate nature. Our Grenache Blanc uses many grapes from this site, and other varietals find their way into our red blends and single varietal Grenache and Mourvedre offerings.
The Von Heune Vineyard is a small 5-acre parcel located in a rural residential area of west county. It sits at a lower elevation (1,400 feet), and gives us a small quantity of Mourvedre that always adds a unique flavor profile to our estate El Dorado Mourvedrefruit. It’s a warmer site that contributes darker fruit flavors and beguiling, exotic aromatics.