FROM VINE TO TABLE

The Vineyard

THE PERFECT MIX

The Dream & The Vision

June Mountain Vineyard is the realization of a dream shared by June Ressler & Michael Bloch. Many of our early dates were spent visiting wineries in the Napa Valley and Sonoma County. We both love drinking and learning about wine, and together have explored wine regions in Australia, Croatia, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, and Spain, as well as up and down the west coast of the US. As we considered our post-retirement future, the idea of living in a world-class wine region, growing grapes and making wine for our friends and families to enjoy became our goal.

GETTING STARTED

Clearing the Land

In 2013, after several years of searching for land in Napa or Sonoma County upon which to build our future home, we purchased a fantastic mountain-top property in Sonoma County northeast of Santa Rosa. We hadn’t planned on planting a vineyard right away, but the property came with a vineyard development permit that was about to expire, so we dug deep and immediately began the work of clearing and preparing 22 acres for vineyard development. Our plan was to sell most of the grapes to other wineries, keeping one acre for ourselves to make our own wine. Our confidence in this site was rewarded in 2015 when it was included in the newly designated Fountaingrove District AVA.

DEVELOPMENT

Planting the Vines

Planting began in 2014. We planted blocks of many different grape varieties to sell: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Nebbiolo, and Sagrantino. You would recognize many of the wineries we sold fruit to, and several wineries made single-vineyard designated wines from our grapes. We named the one acre we kept for ourselves “Michael’s Block”, and it included all the red Bordeaux varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec) plus Zinfandel, Syrah and Sagrantino.

OUR FIRST CRUSH

First Harvest

Our first harvest was 2016. A newly planted vineyard will increase yields for the first several years, and our first year yielded just under a ton of grapes. All 8 of the varieties grown in Michael’s Block were picked and fermented together (known as a field blend) to make a single wine, released in January 2018. We named this wine “June’s Juice”—even before we bought the land, June had always said she wanted to make a wine by that name. We only produced 37 cases of June’s Juice, and even though we never sold any, we have just 4 cases remaining.

FIRST FIELD BLENDS

Winemaking

In 2017, yields increased enough for us to make two different field blends. We picked and co-fermented a Bordeaux blend, and separately co-fermented a Zinfandel/Syrah blend. Our wine releases were “Romeo’s Red,” the Bordeaux blend, and “April’s Honor,” featuring 50% each of the Bordeaux blend and the Zinfandel/Syrah blend. We were fortunate to harvest all these grapes just days before the Tubbs Fire burned right through our vineyard. Because vineyards are natural fire breaks and we had no major structures on the property, we were lucky to sustain very little damage. We released Romeo’s Red and April’s Honor in November 2019.

FIRST FIELD BLENDS

Winemaking

In 2017, yields increased enough for us to make two different field blends. We picked and co-fermented a Bordeaux blend, and separately co-fermented a Zinfandel/Syrah blend. Our wine releases were “Romeo’s Red,” the Bordeaux blend, and “April’s Honor,” featuring 50% each of the Bordeaux blend and the Zinfandel/Syrah blend. We were fortunate to harvest all these grapes just days before the Tubbs Fire burned right through our vineyard. Because vineyards are natural fire breaks and we had no major structures on the property, we were lucky to sustain very little damage. We released Romeo’s Red and April’s Honor in November 2019.

MASSIMO MONTICELLI

Meet Our Winemaker

Our winemaking took a leap forward in 2018 when, for the first time, we picked each of our major varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel) independently at the peak of ripeness and vinified them separately. Each variety spent 21 months in 50% new French oak; then in the weeks leading to bottling (July 2020), we joined our winemaker Massimo Monticelli for several blending trials to create what we believed to be the best expression of these wines. The 2018 “Michael’s Block Cabernet Sauvignon” was our first varietal release, consisting of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Syrah. And the 2018 “Bobby’s Blend,” an homage to June’s father, is a juicy red blend consisting of 50% each of Zinfandel and Syrah.

MASSIMO MONTICELLI

Meet Our Winemaker

Our winemaking took a leap forward in 2018 when, for the first time, we picked each of our major varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel) independently at the peak of ripeness and vinified them separately. Each variety spent 21 months in 50% new French oak; then in the weeks leading to bottling (July 2020), we joined our winemaker Massimo Monticelli for several blending trials to create what we believed to be the best expression of these wines. The 2018 “Michael’s Block Cabernet Sauvignon” was our first varietal release, consisting of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Syrah. And the 2018 “Bobby’s Blend,” an homage to June’s father, is a juicy red blend consisting of 50% each of Zinfandel and Syrah.

ZINFANDEL DEBUT

The Wedding Wine

2019 was another excellent growing year for us. In addition to releasing a new vintage of Michael’s Block Cabernet Sauvignon, we produced our first Zinfandel, which we named “Amoureux” in honor of our newly married Son and Daughter-in-law, and we released it in time to be served at their November 2021 wedding.

PLANNING AHEAD

On to Napa Valley

2019 was our last vintage from the original June Mountain Vineyard. In 2018 we purchased 14 acres of planted vineyard in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley.  After removing 1.5 acres of vines following the 2021 harvest, we have commenced building our retirement home on this beautiful site with views of the Mayacamas and Vaca Mountain Ranges to our west and east, respectively. Currently we grow Chardonnay and Viognier varieties and sell all the grapes to some very famous wineries. Our plan is to plant new red grapes around our home and continue to make wine from these vines in the future.

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