Originally planted in the 1870’s, Stanly Ranch is the eastern most vineyard on the Napa side of the Los Carneros appellation. First owned by Judge Stanly, the original vineyard of 300 acres was the first to achieve critical acclaim for Carneros wines when it garnered medals from viticultural fairs sponsored in 1888. Louis M. Martini first purchased Carneros grapes in the 1930s from Stanly Ranch, a part of which had miraculously survived the phylloxera infestation of the 1880s. In 1942, Martini purchased 200 additional acres of the Stanly Ranch and six years later he began Pinot Noir & Chardonnay clonal experimentations with the Wente family and UC Davis.
The vineyard sits just above the tidal marshes that flow into San Pablo Bay (which sits above the San Francisco Bay). Most afternoons during the growing season the warm to hot temperatures farther north in the Napa Valley act like a magnet drawing the cool breezes and fog from the bay. These cooling temperatures will began to bring relief to the vines in the afternoon and consistent southwest breezes. This cooling blanket creates an ideal environment for growing the 2 varietals, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The soil type at Stanly Ranch is predominantly Haire loam, and the topography is mainly gentle slopes in the 2 to 5% range. Due to the water holding capacity of the soil and subsoil, irrigation needs are minimal. Annual rainfall averages close to 22 inches, which is typically sufficient to delay the onset of irrigation until late June or early July.
Back in 2000, Abiouness Wines was the very first winery to bottle a vineyard designate Stanly Ranch Carneros Pinot Noir. That first year we harvested about 3 tons from a block of “Martini clone” planted in 1971. Now we produce 2 separate wines from the vineyard- one a blend of clones 114 and 777 we call Stanly Ranch and one from block 19 which is 100% Pommard Clone.