The Grace Benoist Ranch, home to the Etude Estate Vineyards, lies in the Coast Ranges of California – young mountains thrust up by forces of colliding crustal plates. These forces are also the origin of the San Andreas Fault System and its parallel components, including the Rogers Creek Fault that runs a few hundred feet west of the Ranch. The property itself is cut by at least one fault – the Bennett Valley Fault – which our “Temblor” Vineyard pays tribute to.
Grace Benoist is located in a cool growing region. The fog and maritime breezes off the Pacific Ocean and San Pablo Bay keep daytime temperatures low, creating the perfect environment for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Grace Benoist Ranch is heavily influenced by the Petaluma Gap which is a wind gap named after a coastal mountain opening that stretches east from the Pacific through the town of Petaluma and then blows south to San Pablo Bay.
One of the reasons the Etude Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch are so unique is due to the various soil profiles found across the Ranch. Soil profiles, which take tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years to fully develop, typically comprise several layers. Within the ranch there are three distinct types:
Vineyards are trained to cordon on a vertical shoot positioned trellis and are planted to the following varieties and clones: