Many experts contend that mountain vineyards have the inherent ability to produce fruit quality which exceeds that of the valley floors. We agree! As one of our avid grape clients remarked, “Diamond Ridge is without question the diamond in Lake County’s crown.”

Consistent quality, coupled with the nuances our clonal menu and the distinctive nuances imparted by the aspect and soil type of each of our 30 vineyard blocks, have proven a wining formula for out friends in Napa and Sonoma. Our Merlot has come through as a true superstar, with remarkable color, intense red fruit, zero vegetal aromas and driving minerality. Perhaps most successful of all, our Cabernet Franc possesses a combination of intense spice, palate energy, depth of flavor, and understated herbal complexity which mark it as one of our the most successful projects. Our Malbec is so fine that, frankly, it’s no longer for sale.

Apart from our success with Bordeaux varieties, we are frankly darned proud of our Petite Sirah. Granted, anybody can grow this variety to show plenty of tannin and color, but it’s rare to bring that together with finesse, depth and dimensionality. Our client WineSmith had this to say: “Diamond Ridge Petite Sirah has incredibly dense structure, astonishing color, massive but supple tannins, intense blueberry, lush texture, and above all, profound depth. If there is a better site in California for this varietal, I’d like to see it.”

Varietal Clones / Rootstocks Sensory Characteristics Location
Cab Franc 1/5BB A very complete Cab Franc with bright red fruit, Christmas spice and almost no vegetal aspect, moderate color, masculine tannin and the most minerally finish of all our plantings. Block 15
Cabernet Sauvignon 4/5BB Clone 4 produces extremely rich pomegranite fruit, moderate tannin, and medium-dark color, Block’s 11b, 18a
4/110R Block 8a & b
4/101-14 Block 4a & b
4/3309 Block 3a & b
6/5BB Clone 6 has complex red and black fruits with hints of chocolate, moderate tannins and excellent color. Block 13a & b
7/1103P Clone 7 exhibits the spiciest aromas, full fine tannins and blueberry fruit. Block 6a & b
8/SO4 Clone 8 most resembles Pauillac’s black fruit aromas, solid, graceful tannins, and deep, elegant coloration. Block 7a
8/1103P Block 5
10/5BB Clone 10 is a German clone which produces high tannin and flavor of great depth including black and red fruits, licorice and a very solid structure. Blocks 10, 11a
15/SO4 Clone 15 is the most tannic of all our clones and the latest ripening. It expresses blackberry aromatics. Blocks 6b & c
15/5BB Blocks 8b, c & 12
337/101-14 The expression of Clone 337 is very dependent on weather. In warm years it is relatively light with bright red currant aromas. In cool years it gains tremendous concentration of tannins and blueberry aromas. Blocks 2a & b
337/1103P Block 7b
Cabernet Entav/INRA 191/101-14 These four Entav clones display flavors of dark cherry, cassis, coffee, blackberries and currents with mocha notes. We are still investigating the individual differences as the vines mature. Block 1, rows 1 -18
341/101-14 Block 1, rows 19 -43
338/101-14 Block 1, rows 44 – 63
337/101-14 Block 1, rows 64 – 82
Malbec 4/5BB Bright raspberry notes, cocoa undertones, very fine tannins. Block 15
Merlot 181/110R Some of the most distinctive Merlot in the State. Very rich color, extremely fruity with plum and pomegranite aromas and no veg. Lively mouthfeel with soft, fat tannins and lively minerality. Block 17
Petite Sirah 3/110R Perhaps our best stand-alone wine. Unbelievable density of color, tannin and blueberry fruit, profoundly nuanced with anise, cardamom, nettle and tar. The two blocks are harvested 2 – 3 weeks apart. Block 16
3/5BB Block 14

We have been providing premium winegrapes to The Hess Collection since 2002, Ledson Winery of Sonoma since 2003, BR Cohn Winery since 2004, RH Phillips Winery since 2004, Trinchero Family Estates/Sutter Home Winery since 2006, and WineSmith since 2007. Their winemakers like that we will do whatever it takes to provide them with the finest quality fruit available. We grow damn good grapes! Like a good ghost writer, we rarely get credit for the contribution our grapes make to the award-winning wines our customers sell. Some of our friends in Sonoma have shared the glory however.

Our client, BR Cohn used our premium grapes with great success to produce theirBR Cohn Winery Petite Sirah ($38)

In addition, Ledson Winery markets their award-winning vineyard-designate Diamond Ridge Series wines, which appeal to both wine critics and casual consumers:

B.R. Cohn Winery 2005 Diamond Ridge Petite Sirah
  • Gold Medal – 2008 North of the Gate Wine Competition
  • Gold Medal – 2008 Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • Gold Medal – 2009 Dallas Morning News Wine Competition
  • Silver Medal – 2008 Long Beach Grand Cru Wine Competition
  • Rank 71, TOP 100 WINES FOR 2009 – Wine Enthusiast, December 2009
  • 94 Points EDITORS CHOICE – Wine Enthusiast, March 2009
Ledson Winery & Vineyards 2005 Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon “Diamond Ridge Series”
  • Silver Medal – 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Ledson Winery & Vineyards 2004 Lake County Cabernet Franc “Diamond Ridge Series”
  • Double Gold Best Of Class Sweepstakes Winner, Sf Chronicle Wine Competition
  • Tri-Medal – 2008 Lodi International Wine Awards
  • Silver Medal – 2008 LA International Wine & Spirit Festival
  • 90 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Ledson Winery & Vineyards 2003 Diamond Ridge Malbec
  • Best Bordeaux Varietal – North of the Gate Wine Competition
  • Gold, Best of Class – North of the Gate Wine Competition
Under the Zina Hyde Cunningham label, we also scored:
  • 2006 Zina Hyde Cunningham Lake County Petite Sirah
  • Silver Medal – National Women’s Wine Competition
  • 94 Points/Editor’s Choice – Wine Enthusiast