St. Amant Vineyard
Our estate vineyard is a 43 acre vineyard nestled in the Jackson Valley at the western edge of Amador County. This distinct vineyard site, takes advantage of 500 acres of neighboring irrigated pasture and five lakes that surround the region. The resulting moderate temperatures are further cooled by nighttime air spilling down the Sierras and becoming trapped in this quaint valley. Soils are well drained alluvial fine sandy loam soils that produced well-structured wines with good acidity levels.
Tim and Barbara Spencer purchased the ranch back in 1970. At the time, they knew nothing about wine or grapes, but Tim had grown up on a dairy farm, and wanted to get back into farming. It was recommended that they plant winegrapes. In 1972 they planted the first 30 acres of Zinfandel on its own roots, and began selling the grapes to other wineries.
In 1980 Tim contacted UC Davis and grafted over 5 rows to traditional Portuguese varieties for port production. Bastardo, Touriga, Souzao, Tinta Cao, and Alvarelhao were all established in the vineyard. In 1981 those first Portuguese varieties came into production and a small amount of port wine was bottled under the St.Amant name.
In the early 1990’s the original vineyard developed phyloxera and needed to be replanted. Over the next 7 years the vineyard was redeveloped with new varieties, rootstocks, and trellising with goal of producing the best quality wines.
The vineyard is now divided into 13 different blocks of 9 different varieties. Each individual block and variety is farmed and harvested to produce the best quality wines. The following varieties are grown in the vineyard:
- Touriga Nacional
- Touriga Franca
- Bastardo (Trousseau)
- Tinta Cao
- Cabernet Sauvignon