Creating red-wine from grapes grown on small acreages in both Napa Valley and Knights Valley is the passion of Beth and Jim Summers.
Jim Summers originally purchased a 28-acre vineyard in Knights Valley in 1987. Knights Valley is located northwest of Calistoga, between Mount St. Helena and the Alexander Valley. At that time it was primarily Merlot grapes planted on the property 30 years ago by Dan Duckhorn, with some Muscat Canelli. The first production of Summers Ranch Reserve Merlot was the 1992 vintage. We currently produce 900 cases. We also make Petite Sirah from the Knights Valley estate. As Knights Valley is one of Sonoma’s warmest appellations; its volcanic soils and close proximity to the Napa Valley, have led to increased interest in Bordeaux varietals from the appellation in recent years.
In 1996 we expanded our vineyard holdings to include 25 acres at the corner of Highway 128 and Tubbs Lane. This Napa Valley property carries the name Summers Estate Wines, with the vineyard designation of Villa Andriana Vineyard, named after our daughter. While the property has been completely transformed to recognize its full potential, we take great care and pride in maintaining our 40 year old Zinfandel vineyards on the property. With a winery/tasting room, and 22+ acres of vines (Zinfandel, Charbono, and Cabernet Sauvignon) we think it a perfect balance of pleasure and productivity.
The signature “unique” wine offered by Summers is, Charbono. The name is thought to be an early Italian immigrant version of Charbonneau, a French varietal. Some strongly believe that this variety is a close relative to the Dolcetto variety, widely grown in northern Italy. The vine bears very large fruit which is used to make a very dark red wine, that, when subjected to extended skin contact during fermentation, is full of fruit flavor and low in tannins.
Knights Valley Vineyard, purchased by Summers in 1987, our founding year.
Climate: Our 28 acre Knights Valley Vineyard is a perfect combination of full sun exposure during the day and abundant cooling marine influences at night.
Soil: Sloping vineyards, rocky and volcanic soils create excellent drainage that contributes a mineral richness to the wines produced from Summers Knights Valley vineyards. Summers Knights Valley wines display balance, massive structure, length and elegance with fruit aromas of black cherry and blackberry, with spicy notes.
Villa Andriana, Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, purchased by Summers in 1996.
Climate: Our 22 acres of Estate Villa Andriana vineyard experiences warm to hot temperatures during the day, giving way to cool evening breezes from the San Pablo Bay.
Soil: Our flat and gently sloped vineyards contain soils almost completely of volcanic origin and alluvial to heavier clay-silt soil. The combination of our Estate soils, climate and varietals planted, the vineyards express fruit forward wines, rich and aromatic characterized by unique earthy-berry flavors.
Vineyard Philosophy and Management
Under the direction of our Viticulturist, Winemaker and Vineyard Manager, Ignacio Blancas, our vineyards are farmed by hand in a low-impact sustainable manner. The vineyard soils and climate in combination with our grape varietals, rootstock clones and trellis system, together contribute to a dense, yet delicate richness and complexity in Summers Estate wines. Our goal is to present a true reflection of the vineyard terroir. We are proud to produce wines which reflect the quality and care we put into our Estate vineyards.