SENTINEL OAK VINEYARD, founded in 1983, by Paul Di Stefano, who is the managing proprietor. The vineyard was named for a majestic centuries old Blue Oak that stands in the center of the vineyard. We are located about 40 miles south east of Sacramento, in the heart of Amador County's legendary Shenandoah Valley, which is on the west slope of California's beautiful Sierra Nevada Foothills. Our mission statement is simple: we work to sustainably grow the best grapes possible from selected clones suited to our unique climate and soils that will produce wines of exceptional quality that reflect our special terroir.
Over the years wines made by our clients from our grapes have received recognition from the Wall Street Journal's Smart Money; Decanter Magazine; Jim Laube's California Wine; DK Wines of the World; The Global Encyclopedia of Wine; Connoisseur's guide and many others.
SENTINEL OAK CELLARS: We produce a limited amount of wines from various blocks within the vineyard. Our current releases are the Zephyr Block Syrah 2008, this wine was made from an exceptional vintage and was aged over 30 months in small French oak barrels. It is a full bodied, deeply colored red, with cinnamon spice aromas, complex flavors finishing long and silky. Our white wine, is the Triangle Block Viognier 2010, this wine received a slow cold fermentation giving it a pleasing floral aroma and refreshing citrusy flavors with a crisp finish.
THE VINEYARD: Sentinel Oak Vineyard is at 1,500 feet elevation in well drained course sandy Sierra loam soils, that are mineral rich and high in iron content, this soil is derived from decomposed Granite that we believe endows the wines with unique layers of flavor.
We apply the best sustainable farming practices to promote vine health and balance with the natural environment. A vertical trellis system is employed that opens the leaf canopy up to allow air circulation and improve the control of mildew. This system improves leaf exposure to the abundant sun light we have, which promotes vine health and superior fruit ripening.
Our micro climate is truly unique, in the afternoons like clockwork, a gentle cooling breeze washes over the vineyard; and at night cool pine scented currents flow down from the high country, a condition that influences the deep hue we get in our syrahs. Irrigation is provided through a drip system that not only saves water, but puts water where it is needed. We use irrigation sparingly and only in the driest years.
We are a family owned and operated farm business and appreciate your interest in us.