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Oak Knoll District

Soil

The valley's largest alluvial fan formed by Dry Creek creates the defining feature of the district. The northwest area is composed of volcanically derived soils, with stony or gravelly consistency. South and east areas are transitional from gravel to silty clay loam.

Principal varieties & characteristics

Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon benefit from a longer growing season with slightly cooler temperature, though crop size is typically less than in other AVAs. Elegant style is the common note with fruit flavors of cassis, tobacco and spice typical to Bordeaux-style reds. Source: napavintners.com

RUTHERFORD

Soils

Western benchland is sedimentary, gravelly-sandy and alluvial, with good water retention and moderate fertility. The eastern side has more volcanic soils, moderately deep and more fertile.

Principal varieties & characteristics

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot: Quite intense cherry and mineral, almost earthy aromas. Flavors are full, ripe, and notably currant with firm, but supple tannins for extended aging. Source: napavintners.com

SPRING MOUNTAIN

Soils

Primarily sedimentary; weathered sandstone/shale, loamy and friable in texture. Drainage is high, fertility low.

Principal varieties & characteristics

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot: Powerful, firm, blackberry-currant flavors and often richly tannic, with excellent acidity for aging.

Oak Knoll District

Soil

The valley's largest alluvial fan formed by Dry Creek creates the defining feature of the district. The northwest area is composed of volcanically derived soils, with stony or gravelly consistency. South and east areas are transitional from gravel to silty clay loam.

Principal varieties & characteristics

Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon benefit from a longer growing season with slightly cooler temperature, though crop size is typically less than in other AVAs. Elegant style is the common note with fruit flavors of cassis, tobacco and spice typical to Bordeaux-style reds. Chardonnay showcases flavors of crisp apple, mineral notes and tropical fruit with fine acidity. Source: napavintners.com

RUTHERFORD

Soils

Western benchland is sedimentary, gravelly-sandy and alluvial, with good water retention and moderate fertility. The eastern side has more volcanic soils, moderately deep and more fertile.

Principal varieties & characteristics

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel: Quite intense cherry and mineral, almost earthy aromas. Flavors are full, ripe, and notably currant with firm, but supple tannins for extended aging. Source: napavintners.com

SPRING MOUNTAIN

Soils

Primarily sedimentary; weathered sandstone/shale, loamy and friable in texture. Drainage is high, fertility low.

Principal varieties & characteristics

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel: Powerful, firm, blackberry-currant flavors and often richly tannic, with excellent acidity for aging. Chardonnay, Viognier: Sinewy, firm and not as fruity as those of the valley floor, revealing more citrus and stone fruit flavors.