An Unexpected Journey
A vineyard that found its owners, all beginning with a dream.
The dream came in an early April morning of 1999, the image of this land, which we would walk onto two weeks later, a parcel of mountainous terrain that was instantly familiar. With no hesitation and not even a thought of ever planting a vineyard, we signed the contract on the spot and soon found ourselves immersed in this mountain where stars filled the skies and fireflies filled the air; fireflies that floated from the grasses, flitted among the trees and seemingly lifted up to the stars, one magical place where everything was connected, the epitome of an ancient Sumerian word, “Ankida,” where heaven and earth join.
The vineyard came by accident many years later when our excavator decided to clear an extra little spot in addition to where we wanted to build the house, high up on the mountain ridge. In 2008, that spot became our future. The tiny vineyard, soon planted with pinot noir and chardonnay, had found us. And oh, how we have since loved this unexpected journey.
Soon our son, Nathan, would join us as winemaker and we would work together to grow the finest pinot noir and chardonnay grapes this cool, rocky, high elevation site could give us. Our farm animals joined the staff, all given a job to do. They worked with purpose, seemingly happy to be joining us in this terroir of a dream.
Christine & Dennis Vrooman
“The Three Legs of Terroir”
Expression of Place
There has been much discussion around the word, “terroir.” Literally it is defined as “the natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate.” We feel it is undeniable that place plays a role in the quality, taste, structure of the fruit, and thus the wine. Fine wines are made in the vineyard. But it is not only place that defines the formation of a wine and the expression of that place. It is much more.
Terroir expression also includes the matching of a variety most suited to that place; to the soil structure, slope and aspect to the sun, relative altitude; to the meso-climate that includes the temperature cycles including the diurnal temperature range (swings between night and daytime temps), the winds, humidity, the rains, winter freezes, summer droughts.
And then there is the care of the vines, the density of their planting, the management of their canopy, the quality of the environment surrounding the vines, the balance of nature. Balance is important in the vineyard, in the cellar and in our own lives as humans who live this life of growing fine wine.
Once the grapes have been harvested, terroir expression continues in the cellar, where the winemaker decides the role he will play. If the grapes have been properly matched to a site, if the care in the vineyard has been of a high quality, if the season was kind to the vines, the role of the winemaker is to be gentle in his/her approach, restrained and allow the beauty of the well-cared for fruit to express itself in the bottle.
At Ankida we adhere to this restraint in the cellar, to the care in the vineyard, and we delight in the fact that our site is so beautifully suited to the pinot noir and chardonnay grapes we grow.