Turley Wine Cellars, established in Napa Valley in 1993 by Larry Turley, embodies a unique synthesis of history, passion, and viticultural excellence. At the heart of this renowned winery lies a deep reverence for old vine vineyards, reflecting Larry's journey from a dedicated emergency room physician to a custodian of California’s winemaking heritage. With winemaker Tegan Passalacqua's direction, Turley produces 50 distinctive wines from over 50 vineyards, primarily Zinfandel and Petite Syrah, with many vines tracing back to the late 1800s.
“Old Vines” Significance
The Turley "Old Vines" cuvée, first crafted in 2000, is not just a wine but a symbol of Turley Wine Cellars' philosophy and evolution. This cuvée represents a commitment to preserving and rejuvenating neglected old vine vineyards across California. Larry Turley and Tegan Passalacqua, fueled by a shared passion for these historical sites, work tirelessly to restore and maintain them, ensuring their survival and vitality. The criteria for an "old vine" at Turley are stringent, requiring a minimum age of fifty years, inspired by standards akin to those for U.S. National Historic Landmarks.
The 31 old vine vineyards that contribute to the "Old Vines" wine are more than just sources of grapes; they are living testimonies to American history and culture. Turley's dedication to these sites has made the winery a leader in preserving these agrarian treasures. The fruits of this labor are evident in the diverse and vibrant wines that embody the essence of their respective terroirs.
The Superiority of Old Vines
Old vines bring a distinct advantage to winemaking. Unlike their younger counterparts, which tend to be more vigorous and high-yielding in their early years, old vines naturally regulate their yields. This results in more concentrated and nuanced wines that are true representations of their terroir. These vines, often deeply rooted and dry-farmed, produce wines that are not only complex and balanced but also sustainably crafted.