Benchmark Wineries

Renaissance Vineyard and Winery

Founded in 1978, Renaissance Winery is known to collectors, connoisseurs, and wine-lovers the world over, for wines that are pure expressions of terroir and their distinctive style. The vines are biodynamically farmed, and the grapes are hand-picked. The winery avoids over-oaking during aging, so its wines are highly concentrated and balanced. This Sierra Foothills vineyard is organically cultivated with elevations ranging from 1,700 to 2,300 feet. They have an extensive library of aged wine with the scope and depth of inventory that Renaissance Winery possesses. The vineyard and winery are 70 miles North of Sacramento in Oregon House, California.

Clos Saron

The Sierra Nevada Foothills are certainly not the first to spring to mind when thinking about Pinot Noir in California, and yet Clos Saron’s “HomeVineyard” has proven to offer a remarkable if unlikely microclimate and soil combination for the successful production of a distinctive, expressive rendition of this variety. By now, the Home Vineyard – located in Oregon House, California (Yuba County) – is 2.5 acres in size, comprising forty-five hundred own-rooted Pinot Noir vines. It is planted on a gentle, well-drained, north-east facing slope at 1500-1600 ft altitude, in yellowish clay-loam topsoil on fractured granite and volcanic ash subsoil, sprinkled with fragments of granitic rocks and quartz. The virgin soil is pure, uncontaminated, alive with microorganisms and earthworms.

Frenchtown Farms

Nestled in the northern part of the Sierra Foothills, Frenchtown Farms manages over 30 acres of own-rooted vines, ranging in age from 40 - 50 years. Unlike the majority of the soils throughout the rest of the foothills, their soil and geology are not primarily composed of decomposed granite. Instead, they are growing on the results of isolated volcanic activity and have soils with higher mineral content, including gold and quartz, and a predominance of rhyolite rather than granite. All grapes are hand-harvested and farmed without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or systemic fungicides, spraying only organic elemental sulfur at key times during the growing season.