Handal-Denier Vineyard FalanghinaDry Creek Valley
Falanghina is an ancient white grape variety that traces its roots to the Campania region north of Naples in Southern Italy. According to the writings of Pliny the Elder, wines from the Falanghina grape were highly valued in Roman culture, and sites from the Amalfi Coast to Rome are thought to have been planted by Greek settlers as early as the 7th century BC. Very little Falanghina is planted outside of Italy, and to our knowledge, Handal-Denier vineyard is the only parcel of the variety in Sonoma County. The vines were chiseled into the side of a steep volcanic hillside in the heart of the Dry Creek Valley outside of Healdsburg in 2011 by Dick Handal, who has been farming for over 38 years, beginning in the mountains of Ecuador. The Dry Creek Valley is noted for its warm days and moderate nights and is dominated by the cultivation of hearty red grape varieties. Falanghina may not seem like an obvious choice, but it is well suited to this Mediterranean environment which mimics closely the conditions found in Campania: complex volcanic soils and a warm growing season. Falanghina is a variety that holds onto its natural acidity well in in a hot climate and shows us the potential for crafting bright and fresh white wine from a neighborhood that originally seemed too hot for making the type of wine we like to drink. Our first production came from the 2016 vintage and we are excited to continue exploring the potential of this antique variety as the vines mature in their new environment.
Soils: Sobrante series; Mixed Volcanic schist
Vine Density: 4’x6’