7th generation farmers, the Mauritson family have been working these vineyards since 1868, finally releasing their own wines in 1998. The winery is now under the stewardship of former University of Oregon football player, Clay Mauritson, who grew up working the vineyards with his father before cutting his teeth at Kenwood Vineyards. Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon specialists, Mauritson Wines is located at the corner of Dry Creek Valley and Lytton Springs Road, hallowed ground for Zinfandel, in particular. The vast majority of the Mauritson grapes are sold to premium producers throughout Sonoma County.
Dry Creek Valley is an AVA in Sonoma County, covering land just northwest of Healdsburg. It is considered to be one of the best terroirs in California for the Zinfandel grape variety, which is planted along the hillsides above the eponymous creek. Dry Creek Valley’s climate is influenced by the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Francisco Bay to the south, although this is limited somewhat by the surrounding mountains. Warm days, protected from cool coastal breezes by the mountains, are tempered by afternoon southerlies that bring Sonoma’s famous fog into the valley. At night, cold air seeps through the mountains into the vineyards, bringing the temperature down considerably. This diurnal temperature variation has long been considered a boon for winemakers, as it slows the ripening process, ensuring grapes develop balanced acidity as they ripen. Dry Creek’s soils are diverse and complex, with considerable differences between the terroir on the hillsides and those on the valley floor. Rocky, gravelly soils that are rich in iron stretch up into the hills, providing a free-draining base for the vines. These dry soils, known as Dry Creek conglomerate, are perfect for the rot-prone Zinfandel, as it can dig its roots deep into the subsoil in search of hydration without threat of disease.
Hardie Ranch is located in the northern part of Dry Creek Valley, along the banks of Dry Creek, where the soils are gravelly and deep, allowing for great water drainage and root penetration. Clay Mauritson works with canopy management in the vineyard to decrease the presence of pyrazines in the bottle.
Sauvignon Blanc originates from the French regions of Loire Valley and Bordeaux. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words sauvage (“wild”) and blanc (“white”) due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France. Sauvignon Blanc often buds late but ripens early, which allows it to perform well in sunny climates when not exposed to overwhelming heat. Sauvignon Blanc grows in nearly every wine making region on earth and is produced in a variety of methods resulting in a wide spectrum of styles that range from lean to bountiful. It is a popular and unmistakable white that is loved for its “green” herbal flavors and inherently high acidity.
Each lot was hand-harvested, whole-cluster pressed and fermented separately, at control temperatures, to achieve maximum depth and complexity. 50% of was aged in small stainless steel tanks, the rest in 75 hL large oak foudres.
Pale yellow with green hues. The nose opens with aromas of candied grapefruit, magnolia leaf and crushed river gravel; hints of wild chamomile dance from the glass. The entry is bright and inviting. On the palate, complex flavors of candied lime, evening honeysuckle and orange honeydew flesh give way to an energetic finish that is focused and fresh.