Vineyard Progression

Vineyard Progression



We are tenderly caring for our prize planting of one acre of Nebbiolo. Nebbiolo is a red grape variety. It realizes its greatest expression as Barolo and Barbaresco from Italy’s Piedmont region. Our region is ideal for this grape variety, as it thrives when there is cool mountain air flowing over the vineyard in the late afternoon. It is the first grape to bud and the last grape to ripen. This long ripening process helps build the grape’s acidic structure by allowing it to mature slowly. Nebbiolo requires cane pruning to express its character. The grape gets its intensity from long growing time on the vine. It is one of the latest ripening grapes in the wine world, ripening so late that it is harvested in October or even early November. Nebbiolo produces intense, highly tannic, highly aromatic wines. As it ages, Nebbiolo offers a profound drink with silky textures, tight structure, and an overwhelming impact of flavors. Flavors that are definitive of Nebbiolo are black cherry, plum fruit flavors, with accents of roses, anise, tar, mushrooms, earth, mint, violets, mulberries and herbs. Our vines have yielded our first harvests. We have bottled our 2013 harvest. It has not yet been released as we are continuing the aging process in the bottle. We are using a chestnut barrel for the aging of this wine as that is what is traditionally used in Italy. 



Montepulciano is a red Italian wine grape variety, the primary grape of the world famous wines known as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. We have planted two acres of the variety, and these are maturing to the point of making some great wines. Our first harvest yielded 3 barrels in 2013. We have bottled are first harvest and are very impressed with the flavor and how full bodied the wine is. Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is certainly one of the most authentic expressions of the Italian wine tradition. This wine in Italy has been defined by many as “the perfect food wine”. When the wine is young, it shows pure fresh fruit flavors and good minerality; if it is slighltly aged, the color changes from purple-red to garnet and the wine will show aromas and flavors of black cherry, red fruit marmelades, plenty of spices notes and fine tannins. Come to the tasting room and experience the “Full Monte”.

Pinot Grigio


Italy’s most popular white wine is produced from the Pinot Grigio varietal. This wine hails from the northeast region of Veneto and Friuli in Northern Italy. We have one acre planted of this delightful grape, and will soon be able to make some very nice wine. Pinot Grigio is light, crisp white wine that is intended to be consumed early on. Flavors range from melon to pear and some even offer a subtle tropical or citrus fruit, often there is a honey or smoky flavor component as well. This wine is silky-smooth and fun to drink on a summer day or with seafood or other light fare.



We have one acre of Barber planted on a neighboring property. It is hard to avoid Barbera in our region and in the higher part of the Sierra Foothills. We may have the best microclimate and growing conditions anywhere in the world for the variety. A good Barbera shows flavors of black cherries, blackberries, currants and plums. Low in tannins (not a cellaring wine) but full in flavor, it is no surprise that our Barbera ranks high in popularity in our tasting room. When our estate vines mature, it will just get better.



No producer of Italian wines can ignore Sangiovese. Our recently planted acre will become a prize of our vineyards. In Italy, Sangiovese is the most widely planted red grape variety. There are so many clones, varieties and wine making techniques for this noble grape; it is difficult to capture its essence in words. We favor the more modern Chianti style: medium to full-bodied wines with tannin structure ranging from medium-soft to firm. Typical flavors include cherry, plum, strawberry, cinnamon and vanilla. There is often a herbaceous quality associated with Sangiovese wines. Good Sangiovese leans towards medium to high acidity content, making it a very good food wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon


Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. We often get the question “is Cabernet Sauvignon Italian?”. The simple answer is yes, Cabernet Sauvignon has been grown in Italy’s Vento region since at least 1850 and in Alto Adige for about 100 years. But one of Italy’s early successes with Cabernet Sauvignon came from Bolgheri, near the Tuscan coast. The classic profile of Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be full-bodied wines with high tannins and noticeable acidity that contributes to the wine’s aging potential. This is the type of Cabernet Sauvignon that is grown in the Napa and Sonoma regions and referred to as coastal Cabernet Sauvignon. In Fair Play, we grow a mountain style Cabernet Sauvignon. The mountain style tolerates our heat and produces a wine that is fruit forward and has much softer tannins than it’s coastal cousin. The winemakers in Napa have discovered this beautiful fruit and have come to this area looking to purchase as much of the mountain Cabernet that they can get their hands on at a higher rate than we are accustomed to pay. Our growers were no longer able to sell us as many tons as we needed so at Palissandro we have planted a little over one acre of mountain Cabernet Sauvignon with bud wood imported directly from Italy. It is our newest vineyard and it was planted in early summer 2013. We are now ensured to have enough grapes to keep up with our demand! Our Cabernet Sauvignon pairs beautifully with rich foods like steak and roasts and also drinks nicely on it’s own.

Contact Info

  • 7449 Fairplay Rd, Somerset, CA 95684
  • (530) 620-2063
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