August 5, 2012 10:41 PM
In their August issue, Wine & Spirits magazine named Lytton Springs one of their featured stops on their "Summer road trip into Sonoma."
These days, Dry Creek Valley is most closely associated with the ancient, gnarled zinfandel vines that ripen easily in the region's hot summer afternoons. David Gates, the viticulturist at Ridge, manages one of the region's iconic vineyards at Lytton Springs, an old mixed planting. He's fascinated by the history of the region. "The old Italians would always plant grapes, olives, almonds, walnuts and maybe a chestnut tree as well," he says.
The earliest parcels of Lytton Springs were planted in 1902, and include significant portions of carignane, grenache and other varieties in addition to zin. Capitalizing on his research into old vineyards through the Historic Vineyard Society, Gates is starting to increase the percentage of other varieties that he inter-plants with zinfandel in an attempt to replicate the old field blends. "When we plant vines, I hope they'll live one hundred years," he tells me.
The complete article is only available in the print edition.