The History  of  Soberanes Vineyard

The History of Soberanes Vineyard

For years the Pisoni and Franscioni Families eyed the virgin land that is now Soberanes Vineyard from their adjacent property, Garys’ Vineyard, and talked about how perfect the site would be for wine grapes. In 2008 the timing was right, and they planted the site with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. These 38 acres of tightly spaced vines in the heart of the Santa Lucia Highlands have been referred to as “one of the appellation’s most esteemed properties” by the Wine Enthusiast. The Pisoni and Franscionis, with the help of their talented team, hand farm the site using old world growing practices to produce wines of intensity and vibrance.

The History  of  Soberanes Vineyard (Continued)

The name Soberanes (pronounced “Sew-bear-on-es”) has long historical roots in Monterey County. In 1769 when he was only 16 years old, Jose Maria Soberanes came to California with the Spanish colonial military as part of the Portola expedition. The Portola expedition was the first recorded overland exploration of present-day California by the Spanish. Soberanes proceeded to marry, settle down, and fall in love with the land. In 1845, his son Fliciano was able to purchase 8,900 acres of land from the Governor of California for a rumored forty horses, fifty head of cattle, four oxen and some sheep.

Through good fortune, hard work and continued stewardship, the property remains in the hands of the direct descendants of Jose Maria Soberanes. So it is no surprise that their ancestors chose equally committed and long-standing Monterey County agricultural families – the Pisoni and Franscioni Families – to continue to care for this amazing property. Together they are not only producing outstanding wine grapes, but farming sustainably and ensuring this land continues its long history.

The Site

Soberanes sits in the middle of the Santa Lucia Highlands, adjacent to Garys’ Vineyard. The land is made from an eastward-facing alluvial terrace that gently slopes five degrees to the valley floor. A dry creek splits the vineyard into three distinct parcels, covering 38 acres of premium wine grapes. The upper section of Soberanes is dotted with oak trees, the middle half is directly connected to Garys’, and the lower block is rocky with a rolling hill.

The soils are Arroyo Seco Sandy Loam, which drains well and allows for great root penetration. Annual rainfall is 10-13 inches. The row direction is set to true north, which provides more uniform sun exposure throughout the day. Morning fog and cool, steady winds from the Monterey Bay establish a long and steady season for the vines.

Today the Garys’ and sons farm this site with diligence and a focus on quality. The vines are tended to each week by a talented and loyal team, whose experience is intangible. Yields are controlled to 3 tons per acre, managed by shoot thinning, fruit thinning, and is hand-harvested during the nighttime. This commitment to quality and investment in the team has been critical to producing premium wines.

Within the vineyard, 27 acres are planted to Pinot Noir while another 10 acres are committed to Chardonnay and Syrah. The Pinot Noir is nearly all of Pisoni clone, with just a small section of 667 clone. For Chardonnay, there is an abundance of Old Wente clones. The Syrah is Alban clone. Grapes are sold to a handful of high-end wineries, including the Franscioni’s ROAR and Pisoni’s Lucia.

Vineyard Map

Located 20 miles southeast of the Monterey Bay, Soberanes Vineyard is nestled in the heart of the Santa Lucia Highlands. The land maintains a 5-degree slope up to the base of the mountain and is carved into three distinctive sections by a dry creek which bisects and runs the length of the vineyard. To the north is our neighboring vineyard, Garys' Vineyard, which is planted entirely to Pinot Noir and is another co-farmed property of our two families.

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Connect with us to learn more about our family partnership and winegrowing legacies.

Pisoni Family Vineyards 800-270-2525
ROAR Wines 800-540-ROAR