The 17.5-acre Palisades Vineyard was first planted in the 1870s along the banks of Horns Creek that flows down from the Palisades, the iconic cliffs above the town of Calistoga that give the vineyard its name. The property’s volcanic and alluvial soils make the vineyard ideal for growing Rhône and Bordeaux grape varieties. Generations of owners have respectfully preserved the vineyard’s Petite Sirah heritage and its viticultural traditions. Today, Palisades Vineyard ranks as one of the world’s premiere Petite Sirah vineyards.
Palisades Vineyard’s 11 acres of old Petite Sirah vines were grafted between 1964 and 1975 by the Barberis family on St. George rootstock that has a long life and is resistant to disease and many pests. The old vines are dry-farmed—they are not irrigated—forcing the roots to penetrate deep into the cobbly loam to find their own source of water. Only the young inter-plantings receive water. Amply spaced on an 8-ft by 8-ft grid and head-pruned, the old vines produce luxurious fruit and wine with a deep rich color that is elegant, powerful and long on the finish, with tannins that are well managed and easy on the palate.
Since moving to the vineyard, Felicia and Steve have farmed without herbicides and pesticides and replanted 5.5 acres of the vineyard to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc, removing vines that were planted on trellises to continue the heritage style of head trained vines on an 8 x 8 grid. In addition, the vineyard is planted with one acre of Petit Verdot. Palisades Vineyard is certified as an historic vineyard by the Historic Vineyard Society.