The source of Geoff and Rachel’s Stellareese Cabernet Sauvignon is a small vineyard bursting with history, pride and really good grapes. Stumbling upon Marcey’s vineyard in 2007 is what inspired them to make their own wine. For many years, Jack and Marcey Smith had been sold their grapes to Château Montelena, but when that contract finally expired Geoff and Rachel were ready and waiting to step in.
This small vineyard is situated in the northern part of Calistoga’s AVA. Two acres of sandy soil underpinned by volcanic bedrock are planted with clone #7 Cabernet Sauvignon on #3309 rootstock. The vines range in age from 15 to 25 years old and are farmed organically and cultivated entirely by hand. Significantly, Marcey’s vineyard experiences large diurnal temperature shift, allowing the grapes excellent acid retention and color development.
Geoff and Rachel produce approximately 300 cases of Stellareese Cabernet Sauvignon from Marcey’s vineyard each vintage. Their conservative extraction and barrel regime is calculated to foreground site above all, drawing out the feminine structure and vibrant red fruit tones that they’ve identified in these wines from the very beginning. As their experience with the vineyard grows, they feel they have only become more sensitive to its distinctive signature. Since 2013, Geoff has made the Stellareese wines at Outpost winery where he now works.