Since 1981, this is where Lee Hudson has been quietly planting vineyards and olive groves, producing farm plots and flowers, all with an eye on sustaining the land for future generations. Interplanted with his commercial crops is an impressive array of permanent cover crops, native grasses, and trees. All of this promotes soil health and the health of native bird and insect populations as well. The vineyard rows are impeccably farmed, creating a visual impression of passionate care and concern in the midst of natural beauty.
We pick Syrah from a three-acre plot located on the higher, backside of Lee’s ranch. The hills here are a bit steeper, describing a sort of canyon. At the bottom, Carneros Creek winds its way toward the Bay. The southern banks of the creek rise steeply into a wall-like ridge of hills protecting the bench on the northern banks from the wind. The Syrah enjoys a long, even-tempered growing season and ripens slowly, with sugars developing in a lockstep rhythm with the flavor development in the skins. The result is a savory, textural Syrah with a compelling complexity.