Nash Mill Vineyards
Introduction •  History •  Wines •  Photos

The vineyard site was discovered by Jim Barr in the mid 1990s. Barr was searching notable California appellations for the perfect place to plant a Pinot Noir Vineyard. When he found the 40 acre parcel in Anderson Valley he knew this was the right place "everything was perfect: soils, microclimate, and a southern exposure on a gentle hillside."

The first vines were planted on the Fourth of July 2003. The original vineyard plan focused on Pinot (clones 5, 115 and 667) but also included 350 vines of Riesling.

The first harvest (2006) was a wild one. The vineyard had just been purchased by Zac and Krista who were enthusiastic to pick the vineyard's first fruit. Vineyard manager Steve Williams was hesitant. The vineyard had not been trellised so many of the vines had fallen from their 'pencil' stakes and were actually lying on the ground. Was it worth picking, Steve wondered. October 9 was probably the slowest pick of Pinot Noir on record. It look two pickers to cut fruit from each vine: one to hold the vine up while the other cut the fruit. Because tractors could not enter the field, the fruit had to be hauled to the avenues in the picking buckets before it could be dumped into the bins.

That winter the trellis was installed and the vines were pruned hard to train them for the trellis. Following a suggestion from long-time viticulturist Al White, vines that were awkwardly shaped were cut back to a single shoot instead of attempting to train the old vine onto the trellis. Smart move! These vines were the easiest to train over the next two years.

With careful farming over the next couple years the vines filled the trellis and the potential of the site became more obvious. We discontinued most vineyard inputs because the site supports the vines naturally. We retrofit the drip system to allow to us apply more water in target areas and less water in other areas.

The hillside slopes of the vineyard range from 0 to 17%. The last tillage of the vineyard was made in 2006 and since that time we have established a permanent cover crop of grasses and clovers. This practice is just one of the "Fish Friendly" approaches applied at the vineyard.

Since 2008 the vineyard has come into a mature balance. Yields are typically between 2.5 and 4 tons per acre and a late harvest date seems to be a consistent occurrence from year to year. Our first night pick was 2010 (see video).

As the years progressed the dividends of meticulous farming arrived. A 2009 Nash Mill wine was recognized by the New York Times as Anderson Valley's finest. Top tier Pinot producers, includes Waits-Mast, Smith Story, Drew, and Husch, now make vineyard designated wines from Nash Mill fruit.