Owners: Bill and Susan Weir
Bill and Susan Weir are not the typical grape growers. Bill has been practicing law, from civil to real estate and commercial law, in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years and Susan is a corporate executive for a pharmaceutical company. But you do not have to be a fifth generation grape grower to want to be one. It seems that a deep passion for wine and an unquenchable thirst for grape knowledge is what drives a great grape grower. Bill had a particular love for Pinot Noir and had pursued home winemaking in San Francisco since the late 1980′s. He is quoted to have said “I figured if Pinot Noir was the choice of French Kings, who could have anything they wanted, that was something I should look into.”
Weir Vineyard is an experiment in Mother Nature’s winemaking. This vineyard is distinctive in that its terroir is unmistakably pronounced in the high quality grapes, overflowing with the minerals and forests of the Yorkville Highlands in Mendocino County. The result is a rich earthy Pinot Noir. Since 1999 Williams Selyem Winery has produced some of its best vineyard designate Pinot Noir from Weir Vineyard grapes, giving it essences that only Mother Nature could lend.
A world apart from business and academia, raising grapes was indeed a difficult challenge that has enriched both of their lives and the lives of their families. Bill and Susan have four children and five grandchildren.
The vineyard’s location plays an important role in the ripening process. Like many Pinot Noir vineyards, Weir’s proximity to the coast provides an ideal cool climate in which the grapes grow. The Old Vineyards, containing both clones Romanee-Conti and Wadenswil 2A, are located on a slope, rising 980 feet at the peak and tumbling to 850 feet the base, and the New Vineyard with clones of New Pommard Rochioli Riverblock is on a slope at elevations 900 feet to 1000 feet, allowing for much needed warm days and cool nights.
Both the Old and New of the Weir Vineyards are characterized by rocky hill soils, consisting of gravel and old brittle rock. The soil lends deeply to the distinctive mineral quality of the wine that the grapes produce. Each vine is stressed using various pruning, irrigation, and trellising techniques, in concert with soil mechanics, to encourage the vine to draw into itself the earth. By monitoring the crops to ensure low yields, all the rich nutrients and organic character will intensify and concentrate in what few clusters are produced, the result being a richer and more intense fruit, and thus a richer and more intense wine.
|Clones:||Romanee-Conti, Wadenswil 2A, Pommard 4, Rochioli|
|Number of acres farmed by WS:||Old Vineyard RC and 2A clones: 2.5 acres each; New Pommard: 1.5|
|Positioning:||North to South|
|Topopgraphy:||Old Vineyard RC and 2A clones: rocky hillside, south-facing slope; New Pommard: rocky hillside, southwest-facing slope|
|Elevation:||Old Vineyard: 850-900 feet; New Pommard: 900-1000 feet|
|Soil type :||Old Vineyard: Mélange of soils; Yorkville Highlands, gravel and old brittle rock; New Pommard: Yorkville Highlands|
|Cover crop:||Mix of 5 types of clover|