- Pinot Noir Clones: Pommard 5
- Appellation: 100% Russian River Valley
- Harvest Date: September 22
- Block: North
- Brix at Harvest: 24.7
- Total Harvest: 4.6 tons
- Yield: 3 tons per acre
The O’Connell family has farmed in western Sonoma County since 1913. The current generation, Dan and Jan O’Connell, are committed to furthering their family tradition of excellence in farming. Once famous for apples, the O’Connell’s Vine Hill Road property now includes four acres of premium Pommard clone Pinot Noir. Dan and Jan live amongst their vineyard and apple orchard, with deep personal involvement in every aspect of farming.
The North Block is the source of TR Elliott fruit. It sits atop a knoll with a westerly exposure and the Gold Ridge clay soils within a meter of the surface. This vineyard aspect is ideal: it allows protection from early frosts in the Spring, dry farming in the Summer, and even ripening in the Fall. The vines are planted on a traditional five-foot by eight-foot spacing (1,089 vines per acre), and are trained to double cordons with 20 clusters per vine.
A cool and soggy spring, a scorching July heat wave and a rainy October plagued farmers during the 2006 grape-growing season. Conditions were ripe for everything from heat stroke to bunch rot in the vineyards in 2006. However, because of the O’Connell’s diligent farming, because of the ideal aspect of the O’Connell Vineyard, and because of the vineyard’s protected and ideal microclimate, the vines blossomed, matured and ripened as if the otherwise adverse conditions did not exist.
The Pommard clone is the only Pinot Noir cultivar initially selected from a single vineyard site in France, the famed Pommard Winery. This clone is world renown for its famous concentrated black cherry and currant fruit aromas, its mid-palate structure and silky smooth finish.