At Nicholson Ranch, harmony and balance go hand-in-hand. Here the winemaking is vineyard-driven and that principle is reflected in every glass. Nicholson Ranch estate vineyard and single-vineyard sources are extraordinary for the character they bring to each wine: low-yielding vineyards that produce astounding concentration of flavor. The Nicholson Ranch mantra is holistic, embracing all aspects of the vine's health and physiological development. It derives from years of experience of observing unique regional terroir and cultivating optimal conditions. All vineyard work and winemaking techniques are done by hand and aimed at bringing out the unique, intrinsic character and even sprit of each individual variety. The resulting wines stimulate the senses, warm the heart and evoke a feeling of well-being.
Nicholson Ranch practices sustainable farming methods and has implemented deficit irrigation and dry farming as a technique that benefits the environment and results in optimal flavor profiles for its wines.
The Ranch planted its first vineyards in 1995 and selected the most appropriate clones for its specific sites. The 14 acres of Pinot Noir are planted in Dijon clones 113, 114, 115, 667 and 777. Thirteen acres of Chardonnay are planted in Dijon clones 76, 95, 96, and UC Davis 4. The plantings are rounded out with two acres of Merlot and one acre of Syrah. Multiple rootstocks were selected to match the various soil types and slopes in the vineyard.
Nicholson Ranch is continually refining its vineyard management practices in the pursuit of superb quality in the bottle. In addition to block-by-block and row-by-row water management, we have experimented with crop loads, canopy management, and even vine spacing. On the rockiest hillsides we have inter-planted vines to three feet apart to better balance the vines to the site.
Most Nicholson Ranch wines are made from estate-grown grapes. Some wines are made from grapes sourced from other vineyards. Nicholson Ranch is very careful when selecting its partnering vineyards and sources most of its grapes from diverse family-owned vineyards. At Nicholson Ranch, the winemaking team strives to optimize quality in both the vineyard and in the cellar. This involves drastically reducing vineyard yields in favor of quality, rigorously selecting grapes and adopting winemaking techniques that best express varietal character.
The Nicholson Ranch portfolio is comprised of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Merlot. The wines are the best possible representation of the vineyards in which they were grown and reflect a hierarchal expression that begins with varietal then hones in on regional, vineyard and even individual block character.