Vineyards

Windsor Oaks Vineyards has a reputative for producing consistent balanced fruit from its premier viticultural location and highly diverse terroir. The test of a vineyard is the grape quality reflected in wines made from its fruit. Numerous outstanding wineries source our 18 different grape varietals. Exceptional vineyard-designated wines are created as well as wines with countless industry accolades.

Since 1991, vineyard management has been overseen by Estate General Manager Douglas Lumgair. Under the guidance of Doug, Natalie Birch, Viticulturist, and the whole vineyard team, Windsor Oaks Vineyards is flourishing, producing crop after crop of exceptional quality. Vines are sustainably-farmed throughout the season by Guadalupe Ruiz, Vineyard Supervisor for more than 38 years, and his dedicated crew, most of whom have been with Windsor Oaks Vineyards for many years.

Our estate Vineyards are situated within three of California’s most respected growing appellations (AVA): Russian River ValleyChalk Hill, and the encompassing Sonoma Coast. Years of meticulous analysis helped to pinpoint 210 acres within the larger 710-acre Estate plant 55 unique vineyard blocks. Each block was developed to match its highest potential by considering all the variables: varietal, rootstock, clone, microclimate, soil, elevation, and aspect, to name a few.

The lower blocks of Windsor Oaks Vineyards are ­influenced by the nearby Russian River and Pacific Ocean. Here, the deep, alluvial, cobbled-clay soils typical of the Russian River benchlands and the cooling effect of coastal fog provide perfect growing conditions, particularly for Chardonnay, Muscat Canelli, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.

As the elevation of the estate rises to nearly 1,000 feet above sea level, the soil profiles reflect their mountainous origins, derived from quartzite and volcanic ash deposited over the centuries by eruptions of Mt. St. Helena to the east. The upper section are part of Chalk Hill with embedded stones,frequently chalk, in the decomposed volcanic soils. These blocks tend to enjoy more sunshine and warmer temperatures, moderated by regular breezes from the west, making them ideally suited to later ripening varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Dolcetto, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, and Syrah. 

Cab Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, Syrah, and Zinfandel are grown in both upper and lower terrain blocks. With the subtle differences in fruit forward characteristics shown by wines made from lower elevation grapes and more structured and complexity wines typical achieved from higher elevation grapes that can exerience longer hang times.   

A significant part of the estate is given over to open space, in participation with the Sonoma County Open Space District. ­This land is left in its natural state and designated Forever Wild. It forms a natural greenbelt and riparian corridor and provides a home for an abundance of native flora and fauna. ­Sightings of turkeys and rabbits are common. Water fowel, bobcats, and foxes are also observed. The majestic red tail hawk, prominently featured on the Balverne labels, flies sentry over the vineyards and is a constant reminder of the importance of ecological diversity on the Estate.