About Scheid Vineyards
Al Scheid set his roots in Monterey County in 1972, embracing his role as a pioneer of wine growing in the region. Al’s outlook has always been that life is an adventure and this attitude served him well as he embarked on the journey of his lifetime. For the first 15 years, Scheid Family Wines was known as Monterey Farming Corp, a grape grower that sold all its production to winery clients for use in their own brands. Fast forward to today, Scheid Family owns 12 estate vineyards located along a 70-mile stretch of the Salinas Valley. They now focus on building their own brand that is produced at their state-of-the-art winery, as well as a smaller Reserve Winery where the small production wines of Scheid Vineyards are crafted.
Scheid’s Clone series was created to highlight the different nuances that each Pinot Noir clone exhibits. What do we mean by “clone”? Grapevines in general and Pinot Noir in particular, are generally unstable and can mutate slightly over time. Each grape variety is actually made up of many subtypes, called clones. These clones can result in different flavors, intensity, color, etc. Scheid Vineyards grow 20 different clones of Pinot Noir. Pommard is one of the Dijon clones and is known for earthy, fruit forward characteristics, as well as structure and density. A dramatic and vibrant wine, Scheid Vineyards Clone POM has aromas of black cherries, blackberries and currants with notes of vanilla, mocha, and oak, mingled with a hint of clove. it is a classic Pinot Noir, with soft tannins and round, rich, red, fruit on the palate.
The Pommard clone is one of the oldest clones planted in the U.S., where it was originally sourced from Chateau de Pommard in the early 1950’s. The fruit for this Pinot Noir was sourced from the Riverview Vineyard, adjacent to the Pinnacles National Park. This 215 acre vineyard is nestled on a bench overlooking the Salinas River and is an ideal site for ultra-premium Pinot Noir. The bench location aids in creating excellent air flow and the southwestern exposure maximizes available sunlight and allows the fruit to ripen slowly and evenly.
Appellation: Monterey, California
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 13.5% alcohol / volume
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/l
Aging: 100% French oak
In 1833, British sailor James Stokes jumped ship in Monterey with a booty of stolen medicine. Passing himself off as a doctor, he opened a downtown pharmacy and launched a thriving medical practice as “Dr. Stokes”. Despite a knack for killing his patients, he landed a commission as the personal physician to California Governor Jose Figueroa. Within a year, the governor was dead. The phony physician was astonishingly successful for someone so poor at his job. He grew wealthy, married the widow of one of his patients, and served as mayor of Monterey. Eventually the gig was up. According to legend, Stokes’ sons confronted him of his devious deeds and he ingested poison, falling lifeless at their feet. His former home still stands today and haunted by the ghostly figure of a man dressed in 1800s garb. This is the legend of Stokes’ Ghost.
Deep and brooding, this Petite Sirah is brimming with aromas of blackberry, plum and black currant. The intense, jammy fruit provides the drama while subtle notes of mocha and hazelnut bring finesse. Stokes’ Ghost is full-bodied with balanced tannins and a finish that lingers on the palate. This rich, lush wine is just what the doctor ordered.
The Petite Sirah grapes in this wine were harvested at night in the southernmost reaches of Monterey appellation, an ideal location for growing this dramatic, heart-stopping variety. Upon arrival to the winery, the grapes were crushed and fermented in small lots to extract the full flavors and tannin structure for which Petite Sirah is so well known. The wine was then pressed and racked at dryness for oak aging.
The fruit for Stokes’ Ghost hails from Scheid’s estate vineyard in the Hames Valley, an inland enclave at the southern end of Monterey County. Considered a “Goldilocks” region – not too hot, not too cold – it offers ideal conditions for Petite Sirah. The wine was aged in American and Hungarian oak barrels to add complexity and soften the tannins.
Winemaker: Dave Nagengast has a strong connection to Petite Sirah. As winemaker for Stokes’ Ghost, he is passionate about this powerhouse variety and well-acquainted with its deepest, darkest secrets. He knows where to grow, how to farm, when to harvest, and how to vinify Petite Sirah to create a wine that is not only big, dark and bold, but also lush, balanced and aromatic. Says Dave, “Petite Sirah is not for those with delicate sensibilities. But for those of us who revel in a muscular, full-bodied wine packed with flavor, character and soul, Petite Sirah has no equal.”
Appellation: Hames Valley, Monterey, California
Varietal: Petite Sirah
Analysis: 14.5% alcohol / volume
Total Acidity: 6.2 g/l
Aging: 12 months in American, French and Hungarian oak