The 96-year old Highwire Vineyard takes its name from the vineyard's trellising systems: half of the parcel is head trained; half is trained on an unusually high wire strung between each vine. This unconventional trellising method was devised by vineyard owner Lloyd Chelli to permit greater sun exposure and promote even ripening. Both sections of the vineyard are harvested and evaluated individually before selecting the best lots to ensure consistency in style of the incredibly unique Highwire Vineyard Zinfandel. The Chelli family cares deeply for the old vines behind their home. Their dedicated approach to farming is reflected in the character of the wine produced from their vineyard.
Wines From This Vineyard
Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, October 2015
"The 2014 Highwire Vineyard Zinfandel comes from 100+-year-old vines, with half head-pruned and the other half on a trellising system. It spent nine months in 46% new French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. This cuvée of 500 cases is absolutely sensational Zinfandel, just brilliant, with briary, black cherry fruit exploding from the glass. The wine is full-bodied, opulent and lavishly rich, with an extravagant concentration, purity and depth. This is about as good as a Zinfandel can be, so kudos to Don Hartford and winemaker Jeff Stewart.
"Another beauty is the 2013 Zinfandel Highwire Vineyard, which comes from century-old vines, half of which are head-pruned and the other half are trained on a trellising system, hence the name. Aged in 50% new French oak, it includes a small percentage of old vine Carignane in the blend. Terrific blackcurrant and kirsch liqueur notes intermixed with loamy soil, pepper, spice and unsmoked cigar tobacco are all present in this big, full-bodied, powerful Zinfandel. It should drink well for 7-8 years."
- Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, December 2014