The land for Bedrock Vineyard has a long and illustrious past. Previous owners include General Mariano Vallejo, a Californio military commander and politician, Civil War General Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker, Eli T. Shephard, U.S. Ambassador to the Far East, and U.S. Senator and mining millionaire George Hearst, father of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Today, the current owner and caretaker is Joel Peterson, founder of Ravenswood Winery.
First planted to vines in the 1850s under Joseph Hooker’s stewardship, the vineyard was decimated by Phylloxera in the 1870s and was replanted by Eli T. Shephard in the 1880s. Today, just over 38 acres of these 1880s vines still exist. Many of the old-vine blocks are largely Zinfandel with various percentages of mixed black varieties but there are two blocks each of old-vine Mourvèdre and old-vine Carignane. The soil type is mostly Red Hill Clay Loam but several blocks contain some Huichica Loam, the same soil series we find in the Piner-Olivet area of the Russian River Valley. Situated in the “banana belt” of Sonoma Valley, this is always one of our first Zinfandel picks of the year.