The first vines were planted in the mid-1980s and early 1990s, with a mixture of varieties, but the team started replanting in 2011, focusing entirely on Cabernet Sauvignon – the grape that they feel best expresses the place. The fruit from the young vines is used for a separate wine (The Mascot) that isn’t part of Promontory. The older vines are dry-farmed, and the plan is for everything to be long term – with just a little irrigation being used to establish the young vines.
The vineyards have two distinct fault lines running through them, roughly demarcating the boundaries between volcanic, sedimentary and metamorphic soils. This diverse geology is a unique facet that distinguishes the Promontory vineyards from the rest of Napa, giving the wine its distinct mineral backbone and tension.
The vineyards are mainly on the valley’s cooler east-facing slopes (with an average gradient of 38%), sitting at between 150 and 340 metres above sea-level. The fog that settles in the valley brings much-needed moisture to the vines, as well as moderating the temperature and allowing the team to produce cooler-toned and fragrant Cabernet Sauvignon.