When Navarro first planted grapes in the '70s, we limited ourselves to three varieties: Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Over the last four decades, our family, as well as the palette of wines we produce, has expanded. One of the varieties that first piqued our interest after those early years was Sauvignon Blanc, and we produced our first Savvy wine in 1979 from grapes grown at Carney vineyards in Boonville. This vineyard was sold and replanted with Chardonnay, so this variety disappeared from both Anderson Valley and Navarro's portfolio for several years. In 1990, we sought out other Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in Boonville and Yorkville, along the Highway 128 corridor. Consequently, we resumed Savvy production and named our new Sauvignon Blanc “Cuvée 128,” a moniker that has stuck. In recent years we discontinued the practice of including wine produced from Yorkville grapes so that our bottling would be produced from 100% Anderson Valley fruit.
Our Sauvignon Blanc vineyard features a high triple-T trellis; since these babydoll sheep (above) are only twenty-four inches high at the shoulder, they cannot reach the grape leaves and clusters in this field. We also have a flock of regularly sized Panama sheep (right) for keeping our hillsides mowed; you can see what they munch first when they are released into a vineyard after harvest.
Blending tastings are held most weekday mornings for Navarro's staff from January through July. In 2017 we fermented and aged six different Sauvignon Blanc wines produced from vines that featured three different clones and three different rootstocks. The final cuvée selected was from four of these lots.
We still buy grapes from one of those original vineyards along Highway 128 in Boonville and have remained so enamored of the wine those grapes produce that we planted our own Sauvignon Blanc vineyard right across the street at our sister ranch, Pennyroyal Farm. Navarro's winemaker and our tasting room staff chose to minimize the highly grassy, herbaceous style of Sauvignon Blanc and aim at a softer, fruitier style with dried mango, melon and Meyer-lemon tones and enough taut acidity to clean the palate. Gold medal winner.