What happens to a vineyard when there is little demand for the variety? In Navarro's case, we had a field where the grapes produced good wine, but the quantity was more than our bottling requirements—the excess was always sold as bulk wine, unfortunately at a loss. About 20 years ago, we had a field of Chardonnay planted to FPS clone 4 —a popular selection in the 70's—that yielded large crops but not the best quality. We chip-budded over to a highly-rated Chardonnay clone, ENTAV 76, and we were impressed with the improvement in wine quality from that field. In recent years we've experienced increased demand for Pinot Gris grapes which are used in three Navarro bottlings—Pinot Gris
, Pinot Grigio
—as well as Pennyroyal's Pinotrio
. Our plan was to chip-bud 30-year-old vines with large trunks, so when we were pruning Middle Ridge
Pinot Gris in March 2020, we selected budwood large enough for chip-budding big vines. In May 2020, a field of 30-year-old vines was successfully chip-budded over to a good clone of Pinot Gris.