Grey Stack Cellars makes cool climate French varieties from Bennett Valley. Bennett Valley is one of California's newest (2003) and smallest (1 mile x 3 miles) appellations. Bennett Valley's unique climate, soils and history yield wines of distinctive character.
Bennett Valley's climate is unique in California (and the West Coast). Cool marine air is drawn into the valley by warming interior valleys, keeping Bennett Valley as cool as the cooler areas of Green Valley. This cool climate and lack of heat spikes allow the grapes to ripen slowly and naturally. Harvest typically starts the first week in October for the Sauvignon Blanc and ends around Halloween for the Syrah and Grenache.
Bennett Valley soils are not uplifted sea floor, like much of Sonoma County (and the rest of the North Coast). The three mountains that ring Bennett Valley are all dormant volcanoes and the soils are all derived from volcanic ash and basalt. These unusual soils give Bennett Valley wines a unique spice and flavor profile.
Bennett Valley's history as a wine growing and making region reach back to the late 1800's when a Sonoma County (and California) wine pioneer named Issak de Turk was making 100,000 gallons of wine a year in Bennett Valley from grapes grown in the valley. There were twice as many acres of gapes planted in 1890 in Bennett Valley as there are today (800 versus 1600 to 2000) and there were 10 times as many wineries (2 versus 20). Brief History