The Mt. Brave Vineyard, once the Chateau Potelle Vineyard, was established decades ago at elevations ranging from 1,400 to 1,800 feet. While Mt. Veeder is cool, Mt. Brave sits above the fog line, with morning sun warming the grapes each day. Soils are sparse, consisting of a gravelly loam with rocks large and small. Nutrients and minerals are scant, resulting in tiny berries with concentrated and complex flavors.
Winegrowing on the Mt. Brave vineyard is not for the timid. The usual practices must be forgotten at high elevations, where thin soils barely hold water, and rocky terrain challenges both rootstock and man. Winter rains must be captured, and erosion prevented. During harvest, small lug boxes must be carefully moved up and down steep slopes to protect both vines and vineyard workers. The work is hard and labor-intensive. Little mechanized modern technology is found here.
The wines of Mt. Brave show the characteristic brambly aromas and blue fruit flavors that are common to Mt. Veeder but are expressed here uncommonly well. They feature intense minerality, well-defined tannins allowing for extended aging, and recognizable mouth-pleasing acidity. The incredible structure suggests an extended development over time, but the wines have been crafted for enjoyment and celebration in the present.