Inglenook covers approximately 1,700 contiguous acres with nearly 235 acres dedicated to vineyards. The variations in the Estate's topography reflect the great diversity of Napa Valley itself–-from the loamy, well-drained soils at its rear to an expanse of vineyards with deeper, but finer soils located in front of the Chateau–-and contribute to the singularity of Inglenook's terroir, a complex term incorporating the natural growing conditions of the specific site as well as the winemaker's signature––with some ineffable quality arising from the two–-which distinguish the wine's personality as unique.
Chateau Vineyards – Niebaum Lane Vineyards
At the eastern front of the property, the mostly flat vineyard blocks of the Chateau and Niebaum Lane Vineyards have the benefit of all-day sun exposure with one of the more even microclimates of the Estate. The soil types constituting these blocks tend to have a finer texture due to high proportions of clay, an aspect that results in greater water-holding capacity. Along with deeper soil levels and underlying gravel beds that drain any excess water, these vineyards exhibit remarkable versatility and are suited to growing a range of varietals from Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah to Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and the Rhône varietals that comprise Blancaneaux, Inglenook's premier white blend.
Pritchett Hill Vineyards – Creek Vineyards – Garden Vineyards – Cohn Ranch Vineyards
The vineyards directly behind the Chateau––occupying close to 140 acres–-are all part of the famed Rutherford Bench, an ancient alluvial fan that stretches for several narrow miles from St. Helena to Yountville, although there's considerable debate about its exact boundaries. Highly diverse and just as complex, the soil types of this lush patch of land benefit from both volcanic and marine sources (the Napa Valley's floor once served as the bottom of a prehistoric inland sea), but differ from those of the front property in being more coarse and gravely, thus providing excellent water drainage. This characteristic is especially amenable to Cabernet Sauvignon, a variety that prefers dryer growing conditions. Indeed, the vineyards to the rear of the Estate produce the serious, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon predominant in Rubicon along with smaller sections of two of the varietals used in its blending, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
With a high perch of about 900 feet on Mount St. John, the Mountain Vineyards receive cool afternoon breezes and offer glorious views of the Estate and surrounding countryside. The shallow soil levels of these sloping vineyard blocks––only about two to three feet in depth––cause the vines to work harder to find water, which they accomplish by extending their roots deeper and deeper into the igneous parent material beneath the soil. Despite these challenges, the mountain vines produce berries of excellent quality, smaller in size with thicker skins, which makes for a desirable concentration in both color and flavor.