The SOMM Journal

August / September 2017

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Page 132 of 148

132 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 { sonoma } WHETHER YOU ARE TRAVELING north on Highway 101 between downtown Santa Rosa and River Road, or are on a lei- surely cruise towards Willi's Wine Bar on Old Redwood Highway, it's easy to see the Pinot Noir vines cascading down the hillside of the Siebert Ranch at the eastern edge of Russian River Valley. Originally developed before Prohibition and replanted in 1995 by agriculture entrepreneur Henry Sieber t, this visionary site is set apar t from the rest of the valley by the fact that the entire vineyard is devoted to a single Pinot Noir clone, Pommard 4, which is planted in the marginal, volcanic-based Spreckels series soils found on the west-facing slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains. At the ripe age of 80, Siebert secured the original budwood for the project from Adelsheim Vineyards in Oregon and the nearby Iron Horse Vineyards in Green Valley. Once established, the fruit gained a remarkable reputation and has been sold to notable Sonoma County wineries that include Flowers, La Crema, David Bruce, Paradise Ridge and Hanzell Vineyards. Today, the 31-acre property is the official Home Ranch of Ancient Oak Cellars, a boutique brand started by Siebert's grandson, Ken Moholt-Siebert, and his wife, Melissa, in 2006. In his youth, Ken spent a lot of time working with his grandfa - ther. "He was a true believer that hard manual labor would solve all social evils," says Ken, with a chuckle. This early training helped Ken become an intuitive farmer and a true steward of the estate property, as well as two other sites the family leases and farms: the Pagnano Vineyard in Russian River Valley and the Berger Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain. Pommard in Russian River Valley CELEBRATING THE HANDS-ON APPROACH AT ANCIENT OAK CELLARS by Christopher Sawyer Greg La Follette (left) with owners Melissa and Ken Moholt-Siebert. The Siebert Ranch is devoted to a single Pinot Noir clone, Pommard 4. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ANCIENT OAK CELLARS

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