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School House Vineyard Chardonnay 2009

School House Vineyard is situated at 1,500 feet, at an unlikely location for Pinot Noir, high on Spring Mountain, above St. Helena at the intersection of Langtry and Spring Mountain Roads. The vineyard is named after the 1890, one-room schoolhouse that used to be on the property before it was destroyed by fire in the mid-1980’s. The original vines are a mixed field blend that was planted in the 1880s by the Sheehan family. Today, that field blend has been reinterpreted as School House Mescolanza which contains Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane. In 2006, together with Pride Mountain Vineyards, a second School House Mescolanza blend was developed that featured Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. Mescolanza is Spanish for “mixture or medley.” The 1953 School House Vineyard plantings of Pinot Noir are one of the oldest in California and is rumored to be budwood from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti that he received from John Daniel, the owner of Inglenook Estate (now Rubicon Estate). In 1992, second generation winegrowers, John M. Gartner and Nancy Walker, took over vineyard management and have restored this storied vineyard to its former glory. Currently the 12 acre vineyard is dry-farmed and divided into 6 acres of Pinot Noir, 3.5 acres of Chardonnay, and 2.5 acres of red field blend. Two of the original four acres of old vine St. George rootstock Pinot Noir have been supplemented with one acre of 10 year old vines and one acre of six year old vines planted within the last 10 years to 110R rootstock. The School Mountain Vineyard wines have been crafted at Pride Mountain Vineyards since 1997. Numerous noteworthy winemakers have been involved in the making of these terroir-driven wines, including Beau Barrett from Chateau Montelena and Bob Foley. Sally Johnson of Pride Mountain Vineyards is currently the winemaker. The first vintage of School House Vineyard Pinot Noir was 1957 - the 2007 bottling represents the 50th bottling. [+]