Mais Fica - The Vineyard
The Mais Fica estate vineyard is situated in the Northern California Sierra foothills, half way between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. Located in the Pleasant Valley district of Placerville, at an elevation of 2500’, we are surrounded by pines and oaks. A snow covered peak of the Crystal Basin mountain range accentuates our beautiful setting and vineyards.
Our ten acre estate was purchased in 2001 and shortly thereafter preparations commenced for establishing a vineyard. In the spring of 2003 the first 2.5 acres were cleared and prepared for planting. A Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) trellising system was put in place and drip irrigation installed. VSP allows for maximum light and air penetration to the fruiting zone which will enable us to achieve full ripeness. In the spring of 2004 approximately 2000 dormant rootstocks consisting of 110R, 1103P and 140R were planted. The vineyard is laid out on fairly steep south facing slopes.
A Focus on Rhone Varietals
In the fall of 2004 field grafting of budwood took place. Two clones of TCVS (Tablas Creek Vintage Select) Mourvedre and Grenache were chosen. Tablas Creek Vineyard, located in Paso Robles, California, has been instrumental in bringing Rhone varietals from Chateau de Beaucastel, a famous vineyard located in southern France in the area of Chatenauneuf-du-Pape, to California.
Our two clones of Grenache are like two different animals. Clone A produces a light-colored, fruity wine that is excellent for use in our french-style Rosé wine. Clone B produces a much deeper colored wine with luscious notes of cherry and strawberry which we use for our separate varietal wine.
Our Mouvedre Clone A produces a deep colored wine with aromas of earth, leather and game. In June of 2009 we grafted TCVS Clone C Syrah on all of our Mourvedre Clone B vines. Syrah allows us to produce a full Chateauneuf du Pape style wine. Our 2011 Festa GSM was our first release of our flagship GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) blend.
A Focus on Organic Farming
Our vineyard is managed by Meyers Ranch Vineyard Management in Somerset, CA. Together we plan to keep yields low by careful pruning and crop thinning. We manage leaf canopy for sunlight exposure and harvest at full maturity. Our goal is to produce the highest quality of fruit possible to ensure the finest wine.
Beginning in 2009 we transitioned from conventional farming to all organic farming practices. Yearly applications of organic compost and a fall seeding with crimson clover ensures good soil tilth, supplies us with a natural source of nitrogen and provides a means of soil erosion. Weeds are controlled by old fashioned hand labor and by use of materials approved by the Organic Materials Research Institute (OMRI). We release thousands of lady bugs each year to combat insects and have installed three owl boxes to attract a natural predator to our gophers.
Visitors are welcome on weekends by appointment to tour our winery and vineyard. If you're lucky you might catch an up-close glimpse of our local foxes, red tail hawks, wild turkeys, and even the occasional bobcat.