With a high concentration of clay soils, this 0.88 acre block represents the best Merlot vineyard block and is dedicated to Alain Raynaud and his family of the Right Bank of Bordeaux. At once a great innovator and a great traditionalist, Doctor Raynaud taught winemaker David Jeffrey much of what he knows of the wines of Bordeaux when he worked at Chateau Quinault l’Enclos. In return, Calluna offers Aux Raynauds as a wine reminiscent of that region – with Merlot French Clone 181 on 420a rootstock, and a bit of Cabernet Franc – but with the signature of Calluna’s unique Chalk Hill soils.
The goal for Calluna Vineyards is to make wines which have the strength of great Bordeaux, but with the attributes of Sonoma terroir. This means that the wines are meant to have the intensity, balance and longevity inherent in Bordeaux wines, but they should have an additional richness and roundness which is typical of the best Napa and Sonoma wines. The vineyards are ideally situated to achieve this goal: The Chalk Hill appellation is in a moderate, transitional climate between the cool Russian River appellation and the hot Alexander and Napa valleys. The fruit can reach full phenolic ripeness - all herbaceous, vegetal tones are gone - without excess sugar development. This allows Calluna to make the wine in a natural way, without the additions of water and tartaric acid which are so common in California winemaking today. David A. Jeffrey, winemaker and founder After 20 years of studying and collecting the wines of Bordeaux and California, David moved to the West Coast and enrolled in Fresno State's Enology program in 2001. Determined to make his dream a reality, David spent 3 years studying winemaking and grape growing as he completed his degree and worked at Chateau Quinault in Bordeaux, France. "Calluna" is the botanical name for the heather plant that grows on the property in memory of an extended family member.