Townsend Vineyard is planted high on the ridge of the upper Rector Canyon watershed. The soil is made up of Pliocene volcanic, mainly of andesite and basalt rocks. Townsend Vineyard’s architecture is derived from the Antinori vineyard philosophy in Tuscany. All planting decisions were based on row direction (east to west) to attain the best sun exposure; high density vine spacing (2,233 vines per acre) to achieve low fruit yield per vine; and selection of rootstocks and clones best suited to the land and climate to ensure ideal fruit expression.
Temperatures throughout the winter months were mild with below normal rainfall, marking a third consecutive year of drought conditions for Napa Valley. A dry spring with slightly higher temperatures than normal provided excellent weather conditions for flowering and uniform fruit set. Dry conditions prevailed throughout the summer and early fall. Warm daytime temperatures along with cool night time temperatures into the autumn months assured healthy and completely ripe Cabernet Sauvignon grapes rich in winemaking potential.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were harvested from the two vineyard blocks that make up the Townsend Vineyard. The grapes were picked on September 26 and on October 5 with an average yield of 3.6 pounds of fruit per vine. Due to the favorable climatic conditions during harvest, the grapes from the Townsend Vineyard were picked at ideal ripeness. In addition, great care was taken to select clusters of uniform maturity. Grapes were hand-harvested in the cool morning hours. During fermentation, preserving varietal aroma and creating a well textured wine was of utmost importance. The abundant, aromatically rich and fIne-textured tannins were easy to extract. After primary fermentation, the young wine was put in French oak barrels where malolactic fermentation took place by year’s end. The wine aged an additional 15 months. During this time, individual barrels were tended and tasted to guarantee The elegance and character of the tannins.
The wine was blended and bottled on the estate, then aged for one more year before release. Renzo Cotarella (Antinori Chief Enologist) and Nate Weis (Antica Winemaker) oversaw the production of this wine.