A tiny percentage of the vineyards of France are planted to Mourvedre, since that grape succeeds only when both soil and climate are ideally suited to it. It does best in the area around the Mediterranean seaport of Bandol, where, in the right hands, it achieves greatness equal to fine Bordeaux. The owners of the Rossi Vineyard - Paul and Sandy Otellini - have done everything necessary to create the finest source of Mourvedre in California. Yields are low, farming is organic, and the wine has the textbook aroma of Mourvedre -- a combination of pit fruit, aged tobacco leaf and minerals. Tadeo’s success with this variety is perhaps his finest hour yet. This wine is simply wild. Like our Syrah and Grenache, the grapes are crushed by foot, not by machine.
Nickel & Nickel is located in Oakville, along Highway 29, on 42 acres that were originally settled as a farmstead in the 1880s. The Napa Valley winery’s collection of classic barns along with the site’s original Queen Anne-style home brings the historic farmstead back to life, while housing a cutting-edge winery capable of hand crafting up to 25 single-vineyard wines.
The land was first developed by John C. Sullenger, a successful prospector and owner of gold, silver and quicksilver mines, who acquired the Oakville parcel in 1865. Nickel & Nickel purchased the property in 1998. The plan was three-fold: to restore the Sullenger farmstead, construct new buildings that are architecturally compatible to the historic structures, and house an ultra-modern winery uniquely suited to producing single-vineyard wines.
”Our goal was to develop a modern winery, specially outfitted to meet the needs of single-vineyard winemaking, while respecting the history of the location,” says Nickel & Nickel director of winemaking and chairman, Dirk Hampson. He adds, ”Anyone driving past on Highway 29 will see a restored farmstead that appears to have been there for generations, without realizing the classic barns house an extremely sophisticated winery.”
The Sullenger farmstead is arranged around three sides of a barnyard and surrounded by 80-year-old olive trees and a white, three-rail fence. Click on the links to the left to learn the fascinating historic and architectural details of each of our farmstead buildings.