Our definition of a great vineyard is a sustainably-farmed plot of land which requires little-to-no influence from the winemaker to produce structurally-balanced, delicious wines with unique and distinct personalities.
Seabold Cellars focuses on vineyards in the Monterey Bay area. This region has immense potential owing to geographic, geological, and climatic factors. Less than 100 yards offshore, the Blue Grand Canyon - at 60 miles long and 2 miles deep - is one of the world’s largest and deepest marine trenches. Its 300 cubic miles of frigid waters fuel the cold Salinas wind that moderates temperatures throughout all of Monterey County. As the wind funnels through the Gablian and Santa Lucia Ranges, it creates a Thermal Rainbow - a large scale temperature gradation drawn through the length of the Salinas Valley.
These are a few of the dedicated growers with which we are fortunate enough to work in showcasing their dedication to the land.
Olson / Prunedale
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Kevin, Nick & Parker Olson
Just 15 minutes from the winery, Olson Vineyard is in the small town of Prunedale, locally known as “Prunetucky” owing to its rustic, small town farming roots. The Olsons have been the owners and caretakers since 1882, and has always farmed the entire property organically. The vineyard itself rests on a large sand dune dramatically towering above Highway 101, composed of rare Elkhorn and Arnold weathered sandstone with some clay atop iron pan subsoils. Easily one of the coldest vineyards in all of California, it is only 5 unobstructed miles from the Monterey Bay’s icy waters. Planted in 1999 exclusively to several clones of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and although in cooler years the Pinot Noir doesn’t always make it, when it does… let’s just say it’s worth the struggle. The potential of this vineyard site is practically unlimited, and every year we eagerly look forward to exploring it further.
Pelio / Carmel Valley
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Les Pelio & Greg Vita
Pelio Vineyard is a gorgeous 15-minute drive south of Carmel-by-the Sea. Les Pelio contracted our dear friend Peter Figge to plant the property in 2003, and from the very first fruit, everyone knew they had found something special. While immediately north-adjacent to the Carmel Valley AVA border, the small cluster of vineyards here - including Albatross Ridge and Robert Talbott’s famed Diamond T Estate - have nothing in common with the warmer Carmel Valley influence. The entire area is a wind-beaten, high-elevation, undulating series of hills 8 miles from the ocean that rarely sees the temperature rise above the 70s, with diurnal shifts making the nights teeth-chattering cold. Pelio sits mid-slope, facing the ocean, with an average elevation of 1000’. The soils are a combination of uplifted marine seabed, Aguajito shale, and chalky sandstone with superb drainage and heat retention for the cold nights.
Simpatico Ranch / Bennett Valley
Luca Zanin & Ned Hill
Bennett Valley is a small winegrowing region tucked into the Sonoma Valley, nestled in-between Sonoma Mountain, Taylor Mountain, and Bennett Peak. Simpatico Ranch is located next to the original Mantazas Creek property at the base of Bennett Peak. Here, the coastal fogs shoot up the Petaluma Gap and squeezes through Crane Canyon, blasting this narrow valley with an abundance of cold, San Pablo Bay air. Planted in 1978 on volcanic and gravelly clay soils, the old-vine Wente clone Chardonnay blocks on the property spend much of their days shrouded in fog. Justin Harmon from Argot introduced us to this vineyard years ago, and although the vineyard is a bit of a drive, we jumped at a chance to work with the fruit.
Brosseau / Chalone
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Syrah
Jon, Jan, Bill & Kilene Brosseau
About 23 million years ago, the San Andreas Fault ripped a volcano in half, and in doing so shoved a marine seabed up on top of a mountain. Hardly tamed since its violent birth, the Chalone region is a land out of time, part of the Pinnacles National Park and displaying a rustic beauty that remains almost untouched by the hand of man. Admiring the work of Dick Graff at Chalone Winery, Jon and Jan founded the Brosseau Vineyard in 1978. They didn’t have any buildings, electricity, water, or any sort of real infrastructure. But they did have limestone - and most winegrowers would gladly trade in all the “creature comforts” for limestone soils. Sitting at an elevation of 1600’, the vineyard has cool, foggy mornings, with warm afternoons and very cold nights. It is farmed organically by their son Bill - a vineyard manager and accomplished winemaker. The terrain is extremely varied with hardly a flat surface larger than a few square feet, and really more a collection of 6-7 unique sites than a single vineyard in the truest sense - hence why so many grape varieties do well here. Much of the soil is limestone with varying amounts of decomposed granite and weathered volcanic rock.
Four Sisters Ranch / Paso Robles
Serena Friedman & Michael “Farmer Mickey” Drucker
Four Sisters Ranch sits immediately over the Monterey County border, in the far north-northwest of Paso Robles. Serena and Mickey are “retired” medical doctors who built up the vineyard from scratch. Incredibly hard workers and tireless proponents of the Paso Robles region, they grow mostly Bordeaux and Rhône varieties on their 400-acre ranch.
Rodnick Farm / Chalone
Pinot Blanc, Syrah
Janet Rodgers & Kurt Gollnick
Dick Graff established this vineyard in the 1970s as his home and personal playground, and the love from Day 1 still shines through in the plantings here. Much like Brosseau Vineyard, the terrain is dramatic and displays an incredible rustic beauty. Vineyard soils are variably comprised of limestone and granite. The resultant wines here are as wild as the landscape - no hope (or desire) to tame these beauties. We are all just along for the ride.
Mission Ranch / Arroyo Seco
Grenache Blanc, Albariño
Steve & Kim McIntyre, Mark Chesebro
Steve McIntyre - one of the most knowledgeable and experienced winegrowers in California - farms this plot of land. Increasingly we find ourselves impressed with the quality of aromatic white varieties from Arroyo Seco, and this site has shown immense promise very early on for us.
Paraiso / Santa Lucia Highlands
The Smith Family
Rich and Claudia Smith moved to Soledad in the early 1970s to establish some of the earliest plantings of Pinot Noir in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The old-vine plantings on rocky outcroppings in this historical site yield an intensely rich, dense grapes resulting in very concentrated wines built for long-term aging capacity.