Laurel Glen Vineyard is a 14-acre estate, first planted in 1968, located on the north end of Sonoma Mountain, the peak that sits between Sonoma Valley and the Sonoma coastal plain, just south of Santa Rosa, California. The vineyard blocks face east, but lie above the fog line, allowing diffused sun exposure throughout the day and a long, moderate growing season. The vineyard is farmed organically and planted entirely to the Laurel Glen clone of Cabernet Sauvignon, certified as a unique clone by the University of California at Davis.
Debuting with the 1981 vintage, Laurel Glen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon soon made an impression upon trade and consumers alike, with its consistent depth, elegance and focus. The 1980’s saw Sonoma and Napa establish their reputations for quality wine making. Winemakers such as Richard Arrowood, David Ramey, Robert Mondavi, Paul Draper, Zelma Long, among many others, were changing how critics thought of American wines and the drinking preferences of consumers. By the end of the 1980s, Laurel Glen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon joined the ranks of first generation “cult” Cabernets from California.
After 30 vintages, founder Patrick Campbell sold the vineyard and winery to a group of wine lovers, led by Bettina Sichel, whose family has been in the wine business for so many generations, she jokes, if you cut her, she bleeds wine.
The new era at Laurel Glen Vineyard begins with an ambitious new team. Organic viticultural guru Phil Coturri, who grew up on Sonoma Mountain and spent a formativesummer in his youth working for Patrick Campbell, manages the vineyard. Randall Watkins, who spent many years developing his skills with mountain Cabernet at Moon Mountain Vineyards, manages the cellar. Under their stewardship, Laurel Glen Vineyard is being rebuilt with great care. The new team started immediately farming the vineyard organically, introducing modern trellising practices, berry sorting at harvest, and a host of other quality-¬oriented improvements.
The result is already evident in the barrel, promising wines that preserve the nuanced layers of flavor of the past, while adding intensity and texture.