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The Canihan vineyards are ideally located in Sonoma, on the border of the Sonoma Coast and Carneros Appellations. The vineyards receive the cool evening breezes and frequent fog from the San Francisco Bay that provide perfect grape growing conditions.
Organic vineyard management practices, dry-farming, cane-pruning, hand-harvesting only at complete ripeness, fermentation with naturally occurring native yeast, and no fining or filtering result in flavorful wines expressive of our terroir. Our commitment to elegant and flavorful wine is also evident by our low yields, which never exceed two tons per acre. We allow each vintage to display its own unique characteristics and patiently let the wines develop in the barrel without intervention.
The 2004 Syrah, our first wine, was judged by 47 judges over three days and awarded __Best of Show Red Wine” from over 4,300 wines at the prestigious 2007 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
Our team consists of Bill Canihan, owner and founder; Alexandra Romanini, consulting winemaker; and Ned Hill (La Prenda), vineyard manager.
Our estate vineyards were first planted in 1998; however, we had nurtured the land for more than 30 years. William Canihan Sr. purchased the land from a Basque farmer in 1972. Because of our commitment to the land and organic practices, we let nature cleanse the soil for 23 years. We planted 1103 Paulsen, SO4, and 101-14 rootstocks, and the following spring we field grafted Pinot Noir Dijon clones 115, 667 and 777, Syrah clone 1, and Cabernet Franc clones 4 and 7.
Organic vineyard management practices, dry-farming, and hand-harvesting only at complete ripeness, fermentation with naturally occurring native yeast, and no fining or filtering result in flavorful wines expressive of our __terroir”.
We use winemaking techniques that are influenced by classic European traditions: hand-sorting our grapes before they enter the de-stemmer and then sorting them again afterwards. Rather than large tank fermentations, we utilize numerous, small hand-mixed fermentations in order to draw out the best from each vineyard block and to enhance the nuanced layers of the final blend. Aged in French oak barrels for 16 to 23 months, we rack our wines two or three times from barrel-to-barrel to provide the small doses of air needed for optimal maturation.
The wines are a pleasure to drink young, and will continue to improve in softness and subtlety as they age in the bottle.