Discover the Vineyards
Located in the town of Kenwood in Sonoma Valley, seven miles northwest of Hamel Family Ranch, is Tres Palmas Vineyard, a six-acre Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon vineyard. Sonoma Valley is typically cooled from north to south, so this vineyard experiences a cooler climate throughout the growing season than Hamel Family Ranch that is ideal for white wine varietals. The southerly afternoon winds sweep down into the valley, drawing in the cool Pacific Ocean influence and allowing the grapes to retain their natural acidity. Located on a gentle slope on a foothill of Sugarloaf Ridge, the vineyard is predominantly set in well-drained, dark, cobbly, volcanic soils.
Located on the western slope of the Mayacamas Mountains, six miles northeast of Hamel Family Ranch, is Nuns Canyon Vineyard (NCV). This mountain vineyard has elevations ranging from 1,300 to 1,700 feet, and is defined by steep slopes with soil profiles of red clay loam underlain with gravel and fractured basalt. NCV has primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, but also Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Grenache. It looks directly across Sonoma Valley at Bennett Valley to the west, and receives a moderating influence from this coastal gap to keep daytime temperatures warm but not extreme during the growing season. With much of the heat that amasses daily on the valley floor being pushed up and out by the cool marine layer coming into the valley in the evening, NCV sees warmer nighttime temperatures than lower elevation vineyards.
Located at the western base of the Mayacamas Mountains, situated adjacent to Hamel Family Ranch’s northwest corner, Armor Plate (AP) is similarly a valley floor vineyard. The five-acre vineyard features colluvial and alluvial basalt-derived soil, and was planted as a Zinfandel field blend in the 1890s. Aside from a one-acre block redeveloped in the 1990s, the remaining old vine vineyard is primarily Zinfandel, interplanted with several varietals including Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Petite Sirah, Semillon and Chasselas. With extremely deep and established roots, the older blocks are completely dry-farmed. Like Hamel Family Ranch, AP features very warm afternoon temperatures due to its Sonoma Mountain protection from the cool Pacific influence.
Hamel Family Ranch
Located at the western base of the Mayacamas Mountains, Hamel Family Ranch (HFR) is a valley floor property of 124 acres at the foot of Whitman Canyon with elevations ranging up to 400 feet. Its vineyards contain Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. The oldest vines are 20 years old. The soil/topographical profile of HFR finds its origin in the erosion of the canyon and the distribution of the eroded volcanic material. With undulating slopes, the soils are primarily iron rich red clay loam underlain by meta-volcanic gravel and bedrock. Sonoma Mountain, lying due west, protects HFR from the cool Pacific influence into the late afternoon. HFR enjoys very warm afternoon temperatures refreshed by cooler evening fog throughout the growing season.