The Olney Trek
I left early this morning with my dog Dakota on a trek (or pilgrimage) to the Olney ranch, 12 miles up Skaggs Springs Road in the extreme north-west of the Dry Creek Valley appellation. It takes forever to drive to the ranch, which is up one of the most curvy, seemingly endless roads in Dry Creek–just one ridge over from Rockpile, and about the same elevation.
The vineyard looks like one of those incredibly steep vineyards in Germany or Portugal, clinging on to the side of the mountain, with terraced rows that take forever to sample. Great rocky soil, high elevation, great exposure to the sun. A great vineyard even if it takes a big part of a day for me to drive to and sample it.
John Olney (the winemaker for Ridge Vineyards in the Lytton Springs facility) owns and planted the vineyard. A labor of love, because it certainly isn’t an easy boutique vineyard.
This year, the grapes seem better than they ever have–juicy tight little clusters of dark purple fruit. I had to climb over and around bird netting that John puts out to keep the crop intact.