All of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes for Navarro's bottlings are grown in Boonville at the warmer end of Anderson Valley in coastal Mendocino. The soils in the rolling hills near Philo are typically two to three feet deep and have considerable organic matter with some clay and gravel. In comparison, 10 miles away in Boonville where the vineyards are sited on an ancient river bed, the soils are deep and so full of rocks and light on organic material that grapevine roots are forced to go deep for nutrients and water.
Two lambing stations—the ewe on the right has twins. We graze several hundred sheep in our vineyards and in early spring we move the pregnant ewes into a large, fenced pasture where they are monitored 24 hours a day. Once we spot a newborn lamb, we pick the lamb up—the ewe always follows—and move it to one of our lambing stations which provide shelter for the lamb as well as water and high-protein feed for the ewe. In a day or so, once the lamb is feeding and frisky, mom and offspring are released to the pasture.
Cover crops in alternating rows during spring pruning. Each year after harvest, we drill seeds in the vineyard rows for cover crops and we frequently plant different seed beds in alternating rows. In addition to increasing soil health, some of what we seed is intended to provide a good habitat for the many beneficial insects that keep the population of "bad" insects under control; consequently, we have no need for insecticides.
After digging 90 test pits to map out the soil variations, we planted three different clones of Sauvignon Blanc in three separate blocks—two with a rootstock noted for its deep roots and the third with a rootstock recognized for producing fine wines that we've used successfully in Philo. We ferment and age each block separately and in most vintages the results are surprisingly different. When fully ripe, the fruit from the first two plantings are pale green with herbal flavors whereas the third planting's fruit is golden at harvest with a flavor profile resembling tropical fruit; a mixture of all three lots is a winner. The grapes were destemmed and the juice fermented in a combination of regimes; the major portion was fermented and aged sur lie in refrigerated ovals to produce a wine with a suave mouthfeel, while the balance was fermented in stainless steel casks which promotes Savvy's bold herbaceous aromas of lime and gooseberry.