One of the most beautiful ranches and vineyards in Mendocino County, Eaglepoint Ranch straddles 1255 acres 1800 feet above Ukiah Valley. The property was originally purchased in 1973 by John Scharffenberger (yes, the chocolatiers) when it was part of the old Hildreth Ranch. It was planted mainly to Zinfandel, Petite Syrah and Cabernet and the first 100 ton harvest wasn’t until 1982. Soon after that harvest, major changes were implemented in regards to the trellising and pruning and over the next 15 years major replanting took place. The 82-acre vineyard sits in the middle of nearly three square miles of upland range and timberland making for very intense farming. It is now comprised of thirty-one separate blocks and six different solely red varietals (including Grenache, Syrah and Sangiovese).
The ranch’s mountain soils are a key aspect of the Eaglepoint story. Moderately fertile decomposed sandstone is the primary feature, with numerous veins of “timber red” loams as well as upland pasture soil types. In these soils, the Eaglepoint vines – like those in many of the great European Rhone vineyards – lead a challenged existence. The crop load is kept at moderate levels either naturally or by manual thinning, yielding fruit with extreme concentration and intense varietal character.
In 2005, the property was sold to Roland and Barbara Wentzel. They began farming organically and in 2013 got the official stamp of approval. We have been making our beloved Eaglepoint Sangiovese since 2006 and in 2015 we harvested some delicious Grenache and Syrah.