By Ryan Beauregard
I discovered Zayante Vineyard in 2001. Our relationship began when I purchased a small amount of Zinfandel as an experiment. In 2003, I purchased Syrah from Zayante. I found a character in both these varietals from this site that was incredibly unique. There was more than an expression of the varietals. There was a real site-specific flavor to the wines. I did not understand what this was at the time. It was my first experience with terroir, though the term was not thrown around so freely at the time. Instantly, I was intrigued. Now that I have a deeper understanding and appreciation of terroir, I consider Zayante Vineyard one of my most treasured partnerships. Greg Nolton is a very skilled farmer. His vines are dry farmed and everything is organic. Greg grows his vines using old world methods that many modern-day vintners may frown upon, but for me it is magic. The wines come out so expressive of his site that it is quite stunning, and the dry farming leads to an unparalleled intensity.