Navarro's Deep End
Pinot Noir is produced from grapes growing primarily in our hillside vineyards. The Garden Spot
was the first higher-elevation site we selected to develop. It was a sheltered amphitheater riddled with erosion gullies; the most southerly corner had been farmed by several families over the years and an Italian honey fig tree, planted around 1910 by the Colombi family, had survived. The luscious green figs were generally ripe in early August, which suggested a warm climate, but ocean breezes made it seem cooler than the valley floor. Unsure of what grape variety to plant, we left a recording thermometer here to compare it with one sited on the valley floor. By the end of the season, the readings confirmed that the Garden Spot
was a little cooler than our the valley floor vineyards meaning Pinot Noir would thrive. The next year the erosion gullies were leveled out and the topsoil was enhanced with compost and lime. We had carefully avoided the fig tree leaving it surrounded by vineyard; it loves being irrigated and has expanded at the cost of shading out a few grape vines.
Ulises punching down Pinot. During fermentation, the carbon dioxide generated will bring the skins to the surface; a cap forms of dried skins and the task is to push the skins back into the juice and thoroughly mix to extract colors, flavors and tannins from the macerating skins. The cap in this bin is about six inches thick?the portion under his arms still needs to be punched down.
In the early 80s we discovered that Pinot Noir wine quality improved when we punched-down by hand to mix skins and juice, rather than using a pump. We've been punching down Pinot Noir ever since.
This 2017 Deep End bottling is primarily produced from grapes growing in the best six out of 15 blocks in our Garden Spot, Middle Ridge and Marking Corral vineyards with a small amount from two out of 12 lower-elevation blocks, South Hill and Winery. Aged 16 months in French oak barrels. “Plenty of tasty fruit flavors: strawberry and red-cherry aromas, lively red-fruit flavors and an appetizing mouthfeel.” —Wine Enthusiast magazine. Gold Medal winner.
Garden Spot fig tree in in 1999, five years after we started irrigating it and the surrounding vineyard. We built a tall, 20-foot-wide steel frame so that we could drape netting over the tree to keep birds out, but you can see that it is already outgrowing the structure. Each vine row is 10 feet wide, and by 2016 the tree had grown 20 feet in diameter and now shades vines on both sides.