Rockpile Appellation

Dec. 15, 2010


In the northwestern reaches of Sonoma County, on stark, hardscrabble ridgelines overlooking Lake Sonoma sits the county’s newest viticultural area. The name comes from a ranch that once counted 20,000 acres in cattle and sheep.

Characterized by rugged rock outcroppings and cooled by coastal breezes, it remains above the evening fog layer. The extra sun exposure ripens red grape varieties to peerless perfection.

Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon do exceedingly well in this terrain.

Local lore has it that legendary Sheriff Tennessee Bishop put prisoners to work grading roads to his remote mountain ranch and the cons dubbed it “Rock Pile.”

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