The London family moved to Woodside, California from living in Atherton, California for 23 years. We searched for a Woodside location that would meet the ideal conditions where a vineyard thrives. Basically, the major criteria are: 1. Excellent soils conducive for grape growing; 2. A protected open sunny area with the necessary "degree days" for our selected varietals; 3. A gentle slope for required drainage; and 4. Facing south for maximum sun intensity.
After finding the location, we consulted with University of California, Davis and Fresno State University in their Departments of Agriculture/Viticulture. They were very helpful in the planning and did tests on: 1. Average Degree Days in the specific location, 2. Complete soil analysis, 3. Matching the results of these tests with the Varietals and the best suited root-stocks.
After much discussion with both University viticulture groups, we chose Zinfandel and Merlot. We also used the root stock graft of Primativo 03/101-14MG for the Zinfandel and G-ME81LW01 for the Merlot.
We planted the two-acre vineyard in the spring of 2004 on a 5 X 8 plan (8 foot wide rows; 5 foot separation of vines). The vines were trained to a bi-lateral structure of trellis (typical for Woodside sun intensity). The trellis scheme was an individual support post for each vine with two lateral arms and four wires to support the canes.
We also discovered that our location that we chose was formerly planted with grapes from one of the first wineries in the Bay Area, the La Questa Winery in 1890. Its foundation remnants are still standing on the east side of our property. Hence, we were very confident that grapes would do well here!
Our street is appropriately named “Vintage Court” because of its history.