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Snowden Vineyards

The Brothers Vineyard

The Brothers Vineyard is an 11 acre Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard located on a relatively flat plateau at the top of the first row of mountains on the east side of the Napa Valley.  The elevation ranges from approximately 800 to 850 feet.  The soil is a remarkably uniform volcanic rhyolite.  The Brothers' was replanted in 2011 with three Cabernet Sauvignon clones: Clone 337 (Entav Clone 15), Clone 191, and Clone 169.  All of the new vines in The Brothers Vineyard are on 420A rootstock – some as field grafts and some as nursery benchgrafts.

We call the western portion of the Brothers Vineyard “Palomino Hill.”  One of the two highest points on the property, we named the hill for the variety of grape we believe was growing there when the family came to the property in 1955.  (With genetic testing still 50 years in the future, we were never able to determine whether the variety was Palomino or the very similar Golden Chasselas.)  Palomino Hill has been producing premium wine grapes for over 130 years and, based on our 63 years learning the ranch, we believe it's the best terroir on the property for Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Wayne Snowden replanted the eastern portion of The Brothers Vineyard to Cabernet Sauvignon in the early 1960s -- the first time Cabernet Sauvignon was planted on the property. He procured his grafting budwood from Nathan Fay, whose new vineyard in the Stags Leap District was winning attention as the first significant new planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley in a number of years.

Scott and Randy Snowden replanted the entire Brothers Vineyard in 1981, budding with cuttings obtained from Jordan Vineyards near Healdsburg.  Through the 1980s, all of the fruit from The Brothers Vineyard went to Stags Leap Wine Cellars for use in their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  During the 1990s and early 2000's, a number of well-regarded wine producers purchased fruit from The Brothers Vineyard, including Silver Oak Cellars, Caymus, Frank Family, Ramey, and Livingston-Moffett. 

Scott and Randy removed The Brothers Vineyard following the 2009 harvest and replanted in the spring of 2011 -- the third time the Snowden family has replanted this field.  Most of the westernmost third of The Brothers Vineyard, which includes Palomino Hill, was planted with Clone 337 (Entav Clone 15).  After further thought, in 2017 part of the Clone 337 section was removed and replaced with Cabernet Franc, which is not yet producing.  The central portion of The Brothers is planted to Clone 191.  The eastern third of the Brothers Vineyard is planted to Clone 169.

The Brothers Vineyard returned to full production in 2014 and, since then, has resumed its place as the source of grapes for our first Cabernet Sauvignon, now a "Brothers Vineyard" designate.