Rancho Chimiles is located in the southeastern hills of Napa County, in a bench of the Vaca Mountain range. It was part of one of the original Mexican land grants in California, and the property has been owned and farmed by the Wilson family for over 60 years. The first vineyard planted by Terry and Virginia Wilson in 1972 was a ten-acre block of Valdiguié, known at the time as “Napa Gamay.” The variety was widely planted in the Napa Valley prior to the late 1980s and was favored for its ability to produce table wines with great color, concentration, and acidity. Before Wilson Foreigner came to be, it was always a desire to make a wine from this block. We are fortunate that two acres of the original block still remain, planted in marine sediment and sandstone.
When discussing potential vineyard sites to source from for Wilson Foreigner, our goal was to find a white grape variety grown in a unique site in the Sierra Foothills. We found that in a block of Albariño at the Rorick Vineyard in Calaveras County, just outside the town of Murphys. The block is situated along a steep and eastern facing spine of quartz and mica soils at 2,000 ft. above sea level. The mica is formed in sheets and can be broken easily by hand, revealing layers of ancient sediments. Intense sunshine moderated by cool alpine nights through the growing season build beautiful characteristics in the fruit. We are grateful to work with such an amazing property.
"Murphy’s Camp is a curious old mining-town in Calaveras County, at an elevation of 2,400 feet above the sea, situated like a nest in the center of a rough, gravelly region, rich in gold. Granites, slates, lavas, limestone, iron ores, quartz veins, auriferous gravels, remnants of dead fire-rivers and dead water-rivers are developed here side by side within a radius of a few miles, and placed invitingly open before the student like a book, while the people and the region beyond the camp furnish mines of study of never-failing interest and variety." – John Muir, The Mountains of California (1894)
Del Barba Vineyard
Our vision for Wilson Foreigner is to explore the heritage of California and its vineyards. At the foot of Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County, along the waterways of the Sacramento River Delta, lie some of California’s most historic vineyards. We discovered a parcel of Zinfandel which includes own-rooted vines planted in 1910 in the town of Oakley, growing in nothing but granitic sand. Farmed with care by the past four generations of the Del Barba family, we are grateful for the opportunity to work with this property and contribute to the history of these vineyards that are unique to our state.