In the early 19th century, Russian fur traders came to this ridge top to trade with the local Kashaya Indians who congregated here to escape the heat of the inland valleys. Over time this “Camp Meeting” spot gave the ridge its name. When Joan and Walt Flowers established the vineyard in 1991, they felt it was a fitting tribute to the history of the site to assign this name to their fledgling vineyard.
Located just two miles from the Pacific Ocean, the ranch consists of 321 acres with 18 acres planted to Chardonnay and only 11 acres of Pinot Noir. Elevations range from 1,150 to 1,450 feet, positioning the vineyard above the coastal fog layer, thus allowing generous amounts of sunshine during the growing season. This unique combination of abundant sunshine and cooling fog rolling in and out of the vineyard creates an ideal — and idyllic — growing environment for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Due to its extreme coastal environment and steep hillside plantings, Camp Meeting Ridge has smaller grape clusters that impart greater concentration and aromatics in the wine. The vineyard’s older, rocky soils distinguish its Pinot Noir plantings with an intense and seductive spice profile while the coastal influence perfectly balances elegance with the vineyard’s robust fruit profile. The Chardonnay vines planted on property also produce grapes with a rich and luscious flavor profile but a remarkably fresh coastal acidity.
Hyde-Old Wente is the dominant clone of Chardonnay planted at Camp Meeting Ridge and is known for its “hens and chicks” (grapes of all different sizes on the cluster) leading to non-uniformity in the chemistry. “Non-uniformity” can be a scary term for most farmers, but at Flowers, through individual block farming, we find it to be where the layers of complexity begin in the wine.
The ideal extreme coastal estate.
Varietals: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier.
Distance from the Pacific Ocean: 1.8 miles.
Elevation: 1,400 – 1,875 feet.
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