Located in Placer County on the western edge of the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Sierra de Montserrat has a rich agricultural heritage. In the 1800’s, during the Gold Rush, Placer County had become a prominent fruit and vegetable farming community which supported numerous packing houses in the Town of Loomis. The Sierra de Montserrat Vineyard in fact had been a fruit orchard for several decades prior to its development into a 30 acre vineyard in 2007.
At an elevation of 400-550 ft. with deep decomposed granite soils the rolling hillsides are extraordinarily well suited for the varieties of wine grapes planted at Sierra de Montserrat.
Grenache – Garnacha – Cannonau.
The French, Spanish and Italian names for this variety which thrives in the very warm climates of Chateauneuf du Pape (France), Priorat and Rioja (Spain) and Sardinia (Italy). The great wines that come from these regions are found in well drained rocky soils, particularly Granite; similar to Sierra de Montserrat
Mourvedre – Mataro – Monastrell
The French, Catalan and Spanish names for this variety which flourish in deep rocky soils and ripen very late in the season. In Sierra de Montserrat it is grown on steep, west facing terraces. Mourvedre needs abundant heat in order for it to reach its optimum physiological ripeness. For centuries it has been an ideal grape to blend with Grenache.
Syrah – Shiraz
The French and Australian names for this variety of grape which seems to be planted everywhere. It loves hot weather, cool weather and everything in between. With every climate / terroir it seems to produce a different wine. For centuries, in France the very best Syrah has been growing on the rocky granite hillsides of the Rhone Valley. Syrah needs very warm sunny days and cool nights. With 96 degree days and 56 degree nights Sierra de Montserrat is producing world class fruit for world class wines.
Barbera has almost exclusively been associated with Piemonte, Italy where it is the most widely planted red variety. While it plays second fiddle to the great Barolo and Barbaresco it is far more approachable at a younger age and it’s pronounced acidity makes it one of the most food friendly wines in the world. It has fabulous color and fruit characteristics and in Sierra de Montserrat it expresses the unique minerality of the soils.
Tempranillo and Graciano
These two grapes are found mostly in Rioja, Spain and are often blended together. Tempranillo is the most prolific grape in Spain and produces world class wines in Ribera del Duero, Tora, Navara, as well as Rioja. Sierra de Montserrat is ideally suited to Tempranillo and Graciano with its warm sunny days to ripen the fruit and its cool nights which help to preserve acidity. The proper pronunciation of Graciano is “Grathiano”
Vermentino – Rolle
The Italian and French names for this white grape which is mostly found in Sardinia and Southern France and flourishes in hot weather and rocky soil. It produces a wonderful light fruity wine.
This is a white grape and has historically been identified with Portugal. Like all the wine grapes growing in Sierra de Montserrat, Verdelho favors a very warm climate. It produces intensely fruity and flavorful white wine with great acidity. In Portugal it is primarily used for making Madeira and Port.
Zinfandel, Primotivo, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon
These varieties are also planted in Sierra de Montserrat. They are not intended to make varietal wines but rather to be used as blenders to season and accent the unique wines produced from Sierra de Montserrat Vineyard.