Our goal from the beginning has been to produce wines that reflect our farm and our community.
It started with the decision to grow international vinifera varieties - Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Despite the challenges of growing these varieties in our region, careful preparation, attention to detail, and painstaking viticulture have demonstrated the benefits of this decision. Dodon now has more than 28,000 vines densely planted over 16 acres in three adjacent vineyards.
It is a difficult site for agriculture, but it is perfect for a vineyard when coupled with scrupulously tended vines, a nurturing climate, and passionate people. The soils are infinitely complex, a mosaic of nearly a billion years of orogeny and erosion to the west, the rise and fall of oceans during the Miocene, and hundreds of years of human cultivation. Recognizing their distinctive characteristics, they have been designated “Dodon-series” by the United States Department of Agriculture. They are naturally drained by slope and sandy texture, yet they also include a modest distribution of clay that provides a regular supply of water. At more than 3,000 feet to bedrock, their depth and decomposing shells provide texture and fragrance to the wine.
We selected rootstocks to match this terroir, planting each variety according to the dominant soil characteristics across the vineyards. Merlot is planted in the lower elevations, where there is more clay. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are on the sandy soils on the crests of hills where there is more heat, less water, and fewer nutrients. Sauvignon is on more fertile soils with abundant shells, and the Chardonnay on soils with intermediate fertility and drainage but plenty of minerals.
The climate at Dodon complements the soils and the varieties. The rainfall accelerates weathering of the soils, releasing minerals and creating the environment in which the vines grow. Moderate temperatures during the last weeks of September slow ripening, allowing full expression of aroma and balanced tannins that preserve flavor and extend aging in the bottle. The wines express these characteristics, revealed by simple yet diligent vineyard and cellar work.