The “Ancient Field Blend” comes from the original vines that were planted on Old Hill Ranch with a number approaching 160 years of age – the oldest producing vines in California. Approximately 65% Zinfandel with the remaining varieties co harvested and fermented together. Includes Grenache, Alicante Bouschet, Petite Sirah, Grand Noir, Syrah, Carignan, and Mourvedre and about a couple dozen other varieties.
As Will Bucklin likes to say, 12 Acres, 30 grape varieties, 1 wine.
Although this vintage hasn’t been scored yet, this old vine gem is also incredibly consistent with the critics and hasn’t scored below a 94 from Wine Spectator since 2013.
“Those who doubt the existence of terroir in the United States or who scoff at the whole notion of terroir owe it to themselves to try several of the Old Hill zins… They are particular wines that very much speak of Old Hill.” – Eric Asimov – NYT
Founded in 1851, Old Hill Ranch is possibly the oldest vineyard in Sonoma. In 1981 it was purchased by Otto Teller, the stepfather of current winemaker Will Bucklin, and resurrected from a state of disrepair having become overrun with old cars, blackberry bushes and old bathroom fixtures. After several years of work the vineyard was back on track and in 1984 they began selling the grapes to Ravenswood for their acclaimed Old Hill Zinfandel. In 1998 the four Bucklin siblings decided to start their own winery so, after having interned at Lafite-Rothschild, worked at Hardy and Sons in Australia, Navarro winery in Mendocino, and being the winemaker at King Estate winery in Oregon, Will Bucklin returned to take over tending the vineyard and winemaking responsibilities at Old Hill Ranch.
The 24 acre Old Hill vineyard is a classic California field blend composed mostly of Zinfandel, about 77%, and the remaining third being a mix of Grenache, Alicante Bouchet, and a least a dozen other varieties (Tannat, Trousseau, Colombard, Lenoir, etc…). The vineyard is both dry farmed and certified organic with yields that rarely exceed one and a quarter tons per acre.
Old Vine Zin : Planted 1858