“Grapes express where they are grown and for me soil is everything“ – Pam Starr
Crocker & Starr grows the five Bordeaux varietals (cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, petit verdot and malbec) as well as sauvignon blanc from an 85-acre estate vineyard that has been continuously farmed since the 1870ʼs. The vineyard lies in the St. Helena Appellation just south of town and is comprised of alluvial soils that gradually change as the terrain gently slopes down toward the Napa River. Years have been dedicated to organic farming to improve the already superior soil. The complex and varied components of our soils, which enjoy excellent drainage that forces vines to draw deeply from the earth, express themselves in powerful and balanced wines.
The Vines: We grow cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, petit verdot, malbec and sauvignon blanc.
The Trellis System: The “lyre” system is used for our 25-year-old cabernet sauvignon vines and a modified “Y” system for all others. The “Y” system positions the shoots so the berries are protected from a steady afternoon sun and provide shade to the soil.
Watering System: Drip is used when needed during hot summer days and for establishing new vines. In rare cases old vines are given a drink at the end of a dry season.
Farming: We farm organically and are working toward a self-sustaining vineyard that regenerates itself without interference. The vines are hand tended during the growing season and hand-picked at harvest.
Innovative Viticulture Practices: Harvest is always at night so grapes arrive cool for crushing. Extraordinary attention is paid to the health of the vineyard: we have established a border of wildflowers to harbor good bugs, planted organic crimson clover for honeybees, and created a buffer zone between the Napa River (where the bad bugs live) and the vineyard. We frequently release ladybugs.