Alegria VineyardMyriad Cellars Field-Blend Vineyard Syrah - Russian River Valley/ Healdsburg - Coming 2023
The Alegría Vineyard: a Spanish word meaning joy and happiness, is named in honor California’s heritage and the workers who tirelessly tend to the vineyards. Fitting right into our Myriad motto meaning 'many', this vineyard addition is a delightful hidden gem. Established in 1880, it is nested in a micro valley between Russian River and Healdsburg. It is 17 magnificent acres of rolling hills, slants and slopes with abundant sun exposure. Sustainably farmed and planted mostly to century-old field blend Old Vine Zinfandel, Myriad chose mini field blend section of Syrah with a mix of Old Vine Viognier intermixed throughout the vineyard. With historic roots and producers like Ridge, Rafanelli and Rosenblum, finding gems like these is like a needle in a haystack. Myriad Inaugural vintage, 2023.
A side note about field blend: Field blend means that the vineyard from where the grapes are harvested includes multiple grape varieties interplanted together. The various grapes are grown, get picked, and co-fermented together. For thousands of years, grape growers did this to ensure a harvest each year regardless of climate and weather conditions. Additionally, the grapes were grown for specific characteristics; some for ripeness, some for acidity, and others for color. By doing so, the winemaker could also maintain a more consistent quality standard. Today, field blends are harder to find as science and technology have advanced so far that those farming practices are no longer necessary. In modern times, the wine blends of today, the grapes are grown and vinified separately and then blended to achieve the desired wine profile. Although our Alegria Vineyard Syrah block is only a field blend of various clones and some Old Vine Viognier, this type of farming adds hidden nuances and complexities you can't find in standard grape growing.
History and Grapes: The original 1890 vineyard was already inter-planted to make a Zinfandel-based field blended wine. In 1950, the famed Rafanelli family planted a second block of Zinfandel and Sangiovese along with Freisa and several Muscat varieties. In 1991, new owners Bill and Betsy Nachbauer added several more inter-planted vineyards with blocks of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Barbera, Cinsault, Dolcetto, more Sangiovese, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah along with smaller amounts of Viognier, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, and many lesser-known varieties. In 2017, two white field blends were planted – An Austrian block with 80% Grüner Veltliner and 22 lesser-known Austrian and central European varieties. As well as a Portuguese block with 80% Alvarinho and at least 17 different lesser-known Portuguese varieties.