Situated in the center of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation is Gary Franscioni's Rosella's Vineyard. With perfect southeast exposure, the 50 acres of vineyard were planted over the course of seven years (1996-2003). Gary incorporated seven clones of Pinot Noir, three clones of Chardonnay, and two clones of Syrah, all on two different rootstocks, to create one of the most complex vineyards in California.
The flavors emanating from Rosella's Vineyard can be traced to two other important factors: soil and climate. The deep Arroyo Seco sandy loam soil that lies beneath the vineyard provides a hospitable home for the vines at Rosella's. Gary farms the vineyard on a vine by vine basis, making sure that each vine's root system is well-established before allowing a crop to hang. These same soils could easily ripen a crop three times the size of Rosella's typical two to three tons per acre, however Gary chooses to keep the tonnage low to make sure the terroir of Rosella's comes through in each cluster.
Rosella's Vineyard at the foot of the Santa Lucias
Nearby Monterey Bay holds an immense influence over the weather at Rosella's Vineyard. Typical growing days are marked by dense fog in the early morning hours followed by bright, mild sunshine just before noon. By mid afternoon a strong wind originating from the bay picks up and blows through the north-south rows at Rosella's, cooling the vines down and blanketing the vineyard in fog around dusk. Each of the three grape varieties grown at Rosella's seem to thrive in this cool weather, particularly Pinot Noir.