Gap’s Crown Vineyard is on the western slope of Sonoma Mountain at an elevation of 300′ to 800′. The well-drained soil is predominately loam and clay loam. Gap’s Crown is situated in an area of Sonoma County known as the Petaluma Gap, a not-yet-confirmed AVA. This area enjoys the cooling effects of both wind and fog plus a spectacularly sweeping western exposure. This wine is made up of four clones – Swan, 828, 115, and a low-yielding Rochioli selection of the Pommard clone. Gap’s Crown has become one of the most iconic vineyards in the Sonoma Coast, consistently producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnays of distinction.
The 2015 vintage proceeded with dry weather, extending our drought for its fourth year. Warm weather started the year, which caused early flowering mirroring the previous couple of growing seasons. In spring the climate changed dramatically, heavy winds and cool spells hit the valley. The effects of this weather pattern caused fruit set to be extremely variable and by July we were ready for harvest. We picked earlier than ever and received our grapes into the cellar by August. Overall, the effect of our early budbreak and resulting weather was that our yields were down 25%. While this isn’t great for the amount of wine we can produce, what was left for us turned out to be fantastic. Small, concentrated berries allowed us to create richly flavored and textured wines. Like many things in life, the 2015 vintage demonstrated the beauty of the adage “less is more”.