Old Oak Vineyard
Because of the many old oaks on our 73-acre property where we live in the hills above Saratoga California, Old Oak Vineyard is the name we chose for our family vineyard. Just above Katherine Kennedy and below Mount Eden and the Ridge Monte Bello vineyards, we are located in a portion of the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation know for premium wines. Our steep mountainside vineyard can be seen from many locations throughout Silicon Valley.
During the summer nights, fog slides east over the Santa Cruz Mountains to cool our vines and send the sap deep into the roots. But the morning sun quickly warms our easterly facing vineyards bringing the sap back into the vines with the nutrients of our mountainside soils and provides warm days that slowly ripen our grapes.
Proprietor Dave House designed computers before becoming an executive in Silicon Valley high tech companies such as Intel and Bay Networks so it’s not surprising that he took a high tech approach to the design of Old Oak Vineyard. First he hired the well known “Dirt Doctor”, Dr. Alfred Cass, who dug 70 soil pits five feet deep, took soil samples from three levels of each pit and tested each sample for dozens of organic and nonorganic ingredients. Based on those results, Dr. Cass decided where to plant and where not to plant as well as what rootstocks to plant.
Meanwhile Nathan Baty, weather data collection and analysts expert, placed weather stations on the property that accumulate seven different weather parameters 7x24 all year long. Nathan worked with Viticulturist; Dr. Daniel Roberts to computer correlate this weather data with data collected throughout California. First we matched our microclimate to the microclimate of other vineyards and then selected the varietal that produced the highest wine shop shelf price from that microclimate. The data pointed to Cabernet Sauvignon.
Stodelhoffer Construction was selected to construct the vineyard, David Huggins to manage the construction. Integrated Winemaking designed the irrigation system. Mike Bobbitt mapped the actual layout of the vineyard and construction took place from 2003 to 2004. The rootstock was planted in 2004, the varietals were grafted in 2005 and the first harvest was in 2006.