Discover the Vineyards

Mountain Fruit

Palmeri is all about mountain fruit. Most of the vineyards our family designates for Palmeri rest above 1,000 feet, yielding a more balanced growing season. In hotter years the grapes experience a more temperate climate at high elevation, where in colder years the temperature is warmer atop the mountains, offering protection from the frost found on the valley floor. The soils found in the mountains are well draining and extremely low in nutrients which produces grapes that are generally more flavorful, show more complexity and produce more age worthy wines.


Alexander Valley's Van Ness Vineyard sits at 1200 ft. elevation and was developed specifically for Palmeri. In the late 1990’s winemaker Kerry Damskey started talking to his neighbor, Denny Van Ness, about how his ranch in the Mayacamas Mountains above the Alexander Valley in California’s Sonoma County would be for Syrah grapes. Kate and Denny had never planned to grow grapes, but Kerry convinced them that their particular terroir might be perfect to allow him to make a luscious, full-bodied and food-friendly wine in the Rhone tradition. The idea that they could help create something special led the Van Ness’ to commission soil analysis of different parts of the ranch, seeking the just-right soils and exposures within the complex geology of the mountains. The results for a few places were very positive, so then the Palmeri team selected root stock and particular clones and the vineyard, just three acres in total, was planted in 2000 as four separate blocks to capture the best locations on well drained south facing slopes. Denny makes sure that the grapes are intensively farmed to Kerry’s specifications.


Julie Simpson planted her incredible vineyard, with her late husband Stan, on a jagged uplift at some 1,700 ft. The vineyard, about 15 miles inland from the Pacific, is rooted in ancient sea floor or Franciscan soil that was uplifted during the formation of the Coast Range and the San Andreas Fault some 30 million years ago. The vineyard is farmed impeccably and has two natural southwest facing benches that make this site peerless. The top bench ripens a little faster giving our Sweetwater Saddle Cabernet Sauvignon expressive and dark fruit tones. The lower bench ripens a little slower, but when we co-ferment the two it gives the wine great natural acidity, floral notes and an elegance found in our Sweetwater Saddle Vineyard Cabernet

...Vineyards chosen to lead our high-elevation revolution!