Catie's Corner is a vineyard widely admired for its Viognier of layered, floral, and exotic flavors. Our affection for this vineyard began years before we started our winery, but its small size and demand among vintners meant a couple of years would pass before we could produce our first vintage from this remarkable vineyard in 2009. Prior to this, our Viognier came from another outstanding location in the Russian River Valley: the Wedding Hill block at Saralee's Vineyard. Catie is the daughter of Saralee, so these vineyards actually have more in common than first meets the eye.
Catie's Corner is located in the middle to slightly northern section of the Russian River Valley. Our small block of Viognier has a gently rolling profile with predominantly Huichica loam soil. One of the most important qualities about this site for Viognier is the consistent cycle of gentle warming and cooling each day, often the result of foggy mornings and evenings. This helps preserve the balance between attractive natural acidity and the opulent flavors typical of Viognier. This cycle of warming and cooling also leads to a lengthier period of ripening during which flavors and aromas can develop gradually and with greater depth and complexity. The Viognier at Catie's Corner was budded onto existing rootstock in 1995.
The beautifully fragrant and voluptuous attributes typical of this vineyard make the Viognier here well deserving of a vineyard-designate bottling. But we also find it a wonderful complement to some of our other wines. Viognier often has a supportive role in our Roussanne, and sometimes in our Syrah. Assembling Syrah with just a touch of Viognier is a traditional technique of making Syrah exemplified in the wines of the Côte Rôtie in the Northern Rhône. We usually harvest this vineyard in late September.