Contra Costa County
Eastern Contra Costa County has been a reputable wine region since the late 1800s. Cool afternoon breezes blowing off Suisun Bay and the Sacramento River delta help temper the warm daytime temperatures during the growing season. Soils consist of sandy loams that offers near-perfect drainage. Some blocks of wizened old-vine zinfandel are over 100 years old, but many vineyards were gradually replanted with Rhone varieties beginning in the 1980s.
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Sandy Lane Vineyard
Sandy Lane Vineyard overlooks the Sacramento River delta near the town of Oakley. Called “the oldest inter-planted vineyard in California”, it was inter-planted with mourvedre, zinfandel and carignane in the early part of 20th century on St George rootstock. These head-trained, spur-pruned vines benefit from the cooling effects of the water, and are dry farmed in soils that are as sandy as a beach. They yield small crops that have a rare degree of color and depth for mouvedre.