Cortada Alta Vineyard
John Peterson's younger vineyard is called Cortada Alta, which translates from Spanish to English as high notch and connotes the vineyard's location just below the notch in the SLH appellation map. It is the highest vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, and August West's first vintage is the 2016 Pinot Noir. John, with vineyard manager Ruben Balderas, planted several heritage and Dijon clones of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah and Viognier at this spectacular site, beginning in 2014. It is divided into 17 blocks with multiple sub parcels on various exposures and soil types. There are incredible views of the Salinas Valley and Gavilan Mountains from every block at Cortada Alta.
The Pinot Noir clones include Swan, Pommard, Mt. Eden, Calera, 114, 667, 777, 828, 943, 2A and 23. The Chardonnay clones include Hyde, Wente, Robert Young, Mt. Eden, Stony Hill and 76. The Syrah comes from the Alban Vineyard, and the Viognier is from Calera. The flavors that come from this sun-drenched site, mostly above the fog, are going to be on the fruit forward side of the Santa Lucias.