"Chalky, dusty mouth feel amid wonderful ripe blackberry and raspberry that cut through to a complex edge of minerally tannins. Tones of cedar give way to spice with good depth and a long, lingering finish. This wine has elegance and finesse.
Catfish Vineyard is truly an old-timer, planted in 1901. The vineyard is located on the Bell Hill bench of Lake County just south of Kelseyville. The vines are head pruned and stand on their own roots. Steele Wines purchased the vineyard in 2000 and we have been working to rehabilitate the old vines since that time. We have pruned the vines back so that each vine has fewer shoots and therefore fewer grape bunches and we have planted new vines where the 100-year-old vines have expired. A vintage consuming process but well worth the effort. The small, concentrated berries from this century-old vineyard offer just that, concentrated flavors. Catfish Vineyard Zinfandel is actually a field blend of a number of varieties, including small amounts of Carignan, Alicante Bouche, Cabernet, and several other varieties ? even some white grapes. Having more than one variety assured the old-time vintners that they would have some grapes to harvest regardless of the spring frosts or autumn storms. The grapes from Catfish are not separated; the wine is vinified just as it grows. The vineyard was planted during the influx of Mediterranean immigrants into Northern California at the turn of the 20th Century. Our goal is to produce a wine as close as possible to what those home winemakers were drinking 100 years ago.
Following hand picking and crushing, we utilize a warm-to-moderate temperature fermentation on the Catfish Zin. This is followed by 12 months in hybrid barrels. The hybrid barrels are unique in that they have alternating staves of French and American oak." ~Winery Notes
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Our winery is located, as the crow flies, right around 100 miles directly north of San Francisco. However, there is no direct road, so it takes around 2 1/2 hours to drive from San Francisco. People usually take two different routes to get up to see us. You can take highway 101 north through Marin and Sonoma Counties. Just after crossing in Mendocino County, you will come to the town of Hopland. Take a right turn and head east on highway 175 over the Hopland Grade. We are 20 miles from Hopland.
Or you can drive up through the Napa Valley, staying on highway 29 all the way, coming over Mt. St. Helena. We are located on highway 29 halfway between the towns of Lakeport and Kelseyville.