Great wines start in the vineyards. Period. From its inception, Naggiar Vineyards has spared no expense – or amount of hard work – in establishing the best vineyards possible. Varietals were selected to best match the conditions of each micro-location and micro-climate on the one hundred thirty five acre estate.
The vineyard site was carefully selected after a three year search by owners Mike and Diane Naggiar. Located part way between Auburn and Grass Valley in the Sierra Foothills, the site sits at an elevation of 1,300 feet. The acreage covers a large knoll with gentle slopes providing good breezes and air circulation, while at the same time offering reasonable hillside tractor access. The Nevada County Irrigation canal runs through the property which allows for an ample and dependable supply of clean water during the growing season. The Sierra Foothills provide the warm days and cool nights essential for growing top quality grapes. Before planting a total of sixty acres with seventeen varietals, there was a considerable amount of research. Numerous soil samples were analyzed to determine soil suitability. Historical weather trends and conditions were examined. Brush and boulders were removed and to ensure good growing conditions the site was deep ripped and deep slipped plowed to a depth of four or five feet. This resulted in soil conditions ideal for young vine establishment. A seven and a half foot deer fence was constructed and encloses approximately eighty total acres. A one acre, twenty feet deep pond, was established to provide a reservoir of water.
During vineyard development every effort was made to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Old oak trees were kept for both wildlife habitat and aesthetic reasons. Vines were planted in a manner to minimize erosion. Barn owl boxes were installed across the property to help with gopher and rodent control. Cover crop is used extensively to minimize erosion along with providing habitat for beneficial insects, assisting with dust control in the dry months, and improving soil quality. With the help of enologist Larry Bradley, Naggiar selected grape varietals, clones and rootstock suitable to its location and for their ability to produce balanced wine and top quality fruit. We currently farm almost exclusively Rhone, Italian and Bordeaux varietals. Vines are laid out in an east to west manner to provide some sun exposure to the fruit. Trellis systems and vine-to-row spacing were developed based on our hillside slope and the expected vine vigor. Block sizes are kept small – two or three acre in size – to maximize farming flexibility and to accommodate the different soils and microclimates within the estate.