You often hear the word terroir spoken about when the subject of fine wine comes up. Typically it is in reference to wines from Old World regions like Burgundy or Piedmont, but rarely California. That being said, there is one California winery that easily fits into a conversation about terroir: Diamond Creek.
Diamond Creek was at the forefront of single vineyard bottling with its inaugural vintage in 1972. Inspired by the wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux, Al Brounstein made the decision to bottle his distinct vineyards separately. These vineyards – Gravelly Meadow, Volcanic Hill, Red Rock Terrace and Lake – while physically adjacent to one another, have distinctly different soils and exposition (you can find a map and detailed information about the vineyards at their website www.diamondcreekvineyards.com). Because of these differences in terroir, the resulting wines are, you guessed it, distinctly different from one another. While Diamond Creek’s grapes and climate may be different than say Burgundy or Piedmont, the concept is the same – let the place be reflected in the wine.
So this is where the fun starts. I was inspired to write about Diamond Creek by our upcoming September auction. We have an impressive 74 lots of Diamond Creek spanning 15 vintages available in the sale, with many of these lots in large format. In addition to our auction, our retail site has 17 vintages available, with 6 of these vintages having a 3 vineyard horizontal. Who has a corkscrew!? Few things in the world of wine are as interesting as tasting different vineyard bottlings from the same producer and vintage. When everything is equal but the vineyard, you can really dig into what terroir is all about.