Hunter III’s vineyard sites and grower relationships are also a significant part of the symphony, with each site providing its own unique characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the diverse appellations. The Barlow Vineyard in Calistoga provides jammy red fruit, while Star Vineyard in Rutherford is renowned for its dusty quality. The Oakview Vineyard in Oakville offers chalkiness, while the wine’s intensity comes from the Konrad Vineyard on Mt. Veeder’s hillside slopes. The Trio B Vineyard in Yountville is responsible for adding ripeness to the finished wine.
“The unique characteristics of each Cabernet vineyard are what make my wines memorable. The blending of grapes from mountain vineyards with those from valley and benchland vineyards leads to fuller, more interesting flavor profiles in the wines of Hunter III.” - Rob Hunter
Rob has worked tirelessly in cultivating long-term relationships with many of the valley’s most respected vineyard owners and managers, ensuring that Hunter III maintains a consistent source of high quality Napa Valley grapes.
Mt. Veeder AVA
Mt. Veeder AVA is made up of well-drained sedimentary based, sandy, loamy soils where an elevation of 600 to 1200 feet keeps temperatures in the cool to moderate range. The eastern facing terraces of the Konrad Vineyard high above the valley floor allow for early morning and mid-day sun, as well as for late-day shade; the perfect combination for outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Trio B Vineyard in Yountville produces the outstanding Bordeaux blending varieties that give the Hunter III Cabernet Sauvignon its unique personality. Located just south of town on the Yountville Bench, this vineyard’s alluvial soil yields Cabernet Franc with elegant gingerbread spice notes and an inky purple color, and Petit Verdot that has delightful violet aromas and color.
Oakville AVA spreads out across the valley floor extending 600 feet up both the Vaca Mountains on the east side and the Mayacamas Mountains on the west. This appellation, which varies in soil from alluvial and gravelly on the west side to the heavier more volcanic soils to the east, is famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon, but also produces notable Sauvignon Blanc. The Oakview Vineyard on Skellenger Lane southwest of the Silverado Trail features deep loamy soil that produces intense purple fruit with jammy ripe flavors and velvety tannins. It is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon clone #337.
Rutherford AVA in the middle of the valley is an area just 500 feet in elevation and formed by a series of alluvial fans that have produced soil that is sandy, loamy and gravelly. The structure of the fans allow for good drainage and run-off while the location of the appellation at the Napa Valley’s widest point brings in more sun exposure than elsewhere in the region. Star Vineyard, from which Hunter III sources Cabernet grapes of both clone #7 and the “Martha’s Vineyard” clone, is located in the heart of Rutherford. Farmed by the Oliver family of El Molino Winery for over 25 years, the wines from this highly sought after vineyard tend to be deep purple, with soft, jammy fruit flavors. And yes, there is a slight aroma of the classic "Rutherford Dust."
Barlow Vineyard is located south of Calistoga on the Silverado Trail just north of the Three Palms Vineyard. It is a slope hill vineyard on red soil that provides fruit of intense color and flavor. It is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon clone #7. Morton Family Vineyard lies just north of Bale Lane, west of the Silverado trail. The warm
climate and valley floor soils are ideal for superb Petite Sirah fruit. Fog rolls into this northern end of Napa Valley, which greatly cools the temperature of the grapes, extending the growing season as it does in the Carneros region. The temperatures in Calistoga are generally 10 degrees cooler than the warmest part of Napa Valley, especially in March, April and May. The gusty wind patterns also define this region; creating less variance between day and night time temperatures, a need for less irrigation and allowing for fewer fungal problems. These geographic distinctions create fullness, intensity and mineral qualities, as well as greater aromas in the finished wines.