Rapley Trail Vineyard
“I try not to think about, or talk about, the wines or the vineyards in hierarchical terms, but honestly Rapley Trail is my favorite vineyard. It’s the most complex vineyard in many ways and I think it produces some of the most complex and interesting wines we make. For one thing, the vineyard is a real geologic anomaly. The top of the vineyard is some of the darkest, richest soil we have and at the bottom it is just grey, lean, gravelly sandstone and shale. That is really unusual, as normally the rich soil is at the lowest point in a vineyard. Also, the whole vineyard is like a compound curve, like the canopy of an old airplane. There is almost every imaginable exposure and that, combined with the soil variation means that this vineyard is really several small vineyards and we farm it that way. We will typically harvest Rapley Trail four or more times a season and we keep the fruit separated and make four different wines from Rapley. Some of the fruit (mostly the top) goes into our appellation Pinot Noir, the middle and bottom will go into the Rapley Trail Single Vineyard wine, while small subsections of the bottom third will go into the Block Bottlings, “Henry Ayrton’s Block” (so named because my first child was born the day we harvested the block in 2011) and “M Block” (as of 2013 Vintage, name changed to “James Thomas Block”) . It’s a fascinating vineyard that produces really amazing wines. While all the wines of Rapley are distinct from one another, there is a common thread among them- a kind of exotic, spicy aroma – almost incense-like; very intense and intoxicating but delicate too. It is definitely my favorite vineyard.”
– Tom Fogarty, Jr.
Year Planted: 1983
Elevation: Avg 1650 ft.
Size: 6 acres
Exposure: Southeastern, very steep
Vine Spacing: 6′ vines x 10′ rows