The Precious Mountain Vineyard produces some of Williams Selyem’s most precious grapes. The vineyard is named after the owners, whose German last name of Schatzberg may be translated as precious mountain. Their high ridge top vineyard is just that. The Schatzbergs have been growing Pinot Noir for Williams Selyem since 1996.
Donnie Schatzberg graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1967. He learned farming techniques while in India with the Peace Corps and is dedicated to sustainable and organic farming practices.
The Schatzbergs, Donnie and wife Linden, homesteaded 40 acres on ridge top in 1970. Donnie believed that grapes were an appropriate cash crop for dry farming and he was right. There are now 5+ acres planted to Pinot Noir and over 100 fruit and nut trees. When they bought the land, Donnie and Linden set about restoring the natural setting. Today, their homestead is run by solar power and the trees sing gently when the wind sweeps in off the ocean. A sycamore tree they planted in the early years now shades their home and a kitchen garden is planted on the level ground.
Donnie and Linden have four children, son Roland and daughters Sarah, Deborah and Luba, and six grandchildren
Donnie and Linden homesteaded the land for the vineyard beginning around 1970. They have planted grapevines, a few at a time, ever since. At an altitude of 1,400 feet the vines are quite stressed and, because of the altitude, take a long time to ripen. Although vineyard yields tend to be low (around one ton an acre), the tiny clusters have exceptional flavors. Donnie continuously experiments with rootstock and clones, and some of the vines grow on their own roots, an unusual return to basics. Pinot Noir is the principal grape of Precious Mountain.
|Clones:||The clones vary. Since 1996, Pommard has been planted exclusively.|
|Rootstock:||St. George, AXR-1, 110 and the plants own roots|
|Number of acres:||5.2|
|Positioning:||Varies with terrain|
|Soil type :||Clay loam, boomer/sobrante|
|Cover crop :||Subterranean clover mixture|