There are many who argue the existence or importance of this overarching site concept, but there are few who would argue that certain sites have something special about them. We believe that our Home Ranch Vineyard is just one of those special places.
We have done many tastings involving all of the Cabernets that we produce, and even when those tastings are done blind, it is impossible to miss the Cabernets produced from Home Ranch fruit. While these wines share a richness with Ghielmetti Vineyard Cabernet and a structure with Smith Ranch Cabernet, what they don't share with any other wine produced in the Livermore Valley is the exotic perfume of pepper and mint and menthol that one associates with the oil from wind-break trees.
As the winds blow in from San Francisco Bay each afternoon they come charging through the Livermore Valley from West to East. Right next door to our Home Ranch Vineyard is a stand of trees - pepper trees and eucalyptus trees - whose essential oils are blown on to the grape skins of the Cabernet that resides right next door. These essential oils become an essential part of all our Home Ranch wines. Being red wines, the skins of the grapes that make them are exceedingly important. There is no way to separate the oils from the trees from the skins of the grapes themselves. Consequently, these aromatic additions become part of the finished wines. In a true sense, the terroir of the Home Ranch Vineyard includes this perfume; a Home Ranch wine that did not have this note, however subtle, could not be said to be a true product of this particular site.
I have come to love and appreciate this quirk of location, this happy accident of arboreal fortune. For without this particular aspect of "it-ness," the Home Ranch would be a much diminished thing indeed.