2019 Signal Fire Vineyard Zinfandel Calistoga Estate, Napa Valley

Calistoga, Napa Valley

This vineyard sits in the center crown of Northern Calistoga and is a testament to the historical significance of Heritage Zinfandel vines that were once planted prolifically throughout California. Planted in the early 1900’s, the old vines on this property are dry farmed and head trained in the old-school style, producing just under one-ton to the acre.

Our 2019 vintage of this wine establishes itself smack in the middle of big, bold, and balanced. Eight acres of gnarly old-vine Zinfandel from our newest estate produces this testament to Napa Valley history. Impenetrable, glass coating color leads fans of Zinfandel to loads of blackberries, white pepper spice, sweet honeysuckle, crushed blue herbs and a very full, viscous, and lengthy finish. This is approachable upon release and will age, when cellared correctly, for 5 to 8 years.

In The Vineyard

Local legend has it that this vineyard was at the “signal point” in Calistoga for taking frost protection measures during early spring budbreak season. As the cold air would begin to drift south through Knights Valley, the vineyard owners located in the center crown area would fire up their smudge pots to spare their vineyards from descending frosts, and thereby signaling their neighbors to ready their frost protection systems accordingly. Thus, the location was referred to as the signal fire. The vines here are well established and dry farmed, with an average vine age of 70 years. Grapes from the Signal Fire Vineyard were harvested on September 27th. Brix at harvest was 27.9 degrees.

In The Cellar

We treat Zinfandel in the same manner as all of our red grape varieties: with gravity and care. The small, individual lots of fruit were destemmed into open top fermenters, where a 5 day cold soak took place. The process of cooling the cap releases color and flavor pre-fermentation. The fermentation was allowed to slowly take hold via native yeast. Whole-berry fermentation took place for an average of 22 days. The wine was barrel aged for 16 months in 50% new American Oak and the balance in once used tight grain French Oak. No conventional pumps were used in the making of this wine. Only diaphragm air pumps, forced air pressure movement, or bulldogging, and transfers by gravity were employed to preserve the pure fruit integrity in the wine.

Wine Technicals & Releases

  • Location:Calistoga Estate, Napa Valley
  • Varietal Description :98% Zinfandel, 2% Charbono
  • Oak Type:50% new American Oak and the balance in once-used tight grained French Oak
  • Barrel Aging :16 Months
  • Wine Status:Current Release
  • Next Release:Spring 2021
  • Release Price :FMV