Daily Archives: Dec 4, 2012


Visiting Mauritson Vineyards, the Dry Creek Valley, Rockpile AVAs Overlap

Some Ancient traditions referred to heaven as “Summerland”–a place of peace, full of light, that we go to after we die and rest happy. Visiting the Mauritson property at the Northern reach of the Dry Creek Valley AVA, and the Southern point of Rockpile AVA, it’s easy to imagine such a place is real.

The site stands over Lake Sonoma, a formation gathered by the containment of Dry Creek. Rockpile AVA is defined by the fog that gathers above the lake, with its boundaries being elevation dependent–elevation consistently above the fog line. Only vineyards planted above 800 ft in elevation fall within the Rockpile zone. Though the land that sits inside the outer bounds of the drawn AVA include more than 15,400 acres, the plantable-to-Rockpile zone (above 800 ft) measures at only about 300 acres with approximately 160 currently under vine. Currently 11 vineyards meet the requirements. [post-edit: this section originally stated that 160 was plantable, instead of currently planted. this has been corrected]

Looking South, over Lake Sonoma and some of the Mauritsons’ younger vines

The Mauritson family was kind enough to drive me to their vineyards above Lake Sonoma first thing in the morning in order to capture the view above the fog line.

Looking Northwest into one of the arms of Lake Sonoma, and over Mauritson vineyards

These photos show the importance of the fog effect–with the resulting inversion layer, temperatures above the fog remain warmer at night, and cooler during the day than below, offering a narrower overall temperature range for vines to grow.

Looking North

The Mauritson plantings reach to just above fog’s reach. The land through this area remains from the original family homestead, 700 acres not taken by Eminent Domain to build the dam–the land pictured here appears in the final image featured in yesterday’s write up on the family’s vineyard history: http://wakawakawinereviews.com/2012/12/03/the-history-of-dry-creek-valley-lake-sonoma-and-rockpile-meeting-the-mauritson-family/

View from the top of the property


Though I’d originally intended to post both the photos and tasting notes today, I’ve decided to separate the two–tasting notes for the Mauritson family Loam series will appear tomorrow.

Thank you to Ashley Mauritson for bringing me to the vineyard site for morning photos.

Thank you to Kyrsa Dixon.


Part 1: The History of Dry Creek, Lake Sonoma, and Rockpile: Meeting the Mauritson Family: http://wakawakawinereviews.com/2012/12/03/the-history-of-dry-creek-valley-lake-sonoma-and-rockpile-meeting-the-mauritson-family/

Part 3: Tasting the Soil: Meeting Clay Mauritson’s Passion for Loam and Cabernet: http://wakawakawinereviews.com/2012/12/05/tasting-the-soil-clay-mauritsons-passion-for-loam-and-cabernet/

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