Bill Hill ia a long time winegrower in Napa. His career has been built upon the well known principal that the quality of wine is determined primarily by the vineyard from which it is sourced. He has been on a 40 year odyssey and quest to understand climates and soils and how they determine wine qualities. Along the way, he had the opportunity to design, develop, farm and make wine from the mountains of Napa Valley, the hills of Western Sonoma, the beautiful Anderson valley in Mendocino, the bucolic Eola Hills in Oregon and the Ocean cooled Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara. It has been a great ride.
To make the best possible wine, it is essential to source from a vineyard with near ideal climates and soils. However you can’t stop there. The vineyard must be developed in a state of the art fashion in every way. From varietal selection, to plant material selection, to soil preparation, to infrastructure such as trellis choices, all of these things must be optimized. Likewise, the vineyard so created must then farmed meticulously, following practices that are known to result in high wine quality. All good wine makers know that the potential character of the wine is largely determined by the time the fruit is harvested. Great winemakers spend a lot of time in the vineyard.
As if that is not enough, to make the best wine, one must then do everything in the cellar with the same tenacious dedication to perfection that was evoked in the farming.
To make the best possible wine one must start with the great vineyard and then do everything right.
Over this 40 year career Bill has had the opportunity to design over 50 vineyards. Many of them have lived up to my aspirations but none more than Brokenrock Ranch which he started planting in 1997. Nestled on the southwest shoulder of Atlas Peak in Napa Valley this mountain vineyard has it all. Excellent rocky well drained soil, lots of sun exposure as it floats above the fog, embraced by cool ocean breezes, they all add up to ideal conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon and its varietal companions, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot.
For a number of years it has been Bill's plan to create a new label under which he could produce single vineyard Cabernets from Brokenrock. He initiated this program with the 2009 vintage and with his longtime friend and wine making associate, Patrick Mahaney. Patrick has been making wine in Napa for almost as long as Bill has been growing grapes. He is one of the most talented winemakers in the business.
Solum is a term from soil science which refers to the state of the evolution of soil at which it is best for plant growth. PRIME SOLUM means an optimal place to grow something, in this case, great Cabernet grapes for wine!
Our tasting room is located in downtown Napa at our Barrel facility. 459 Walnut Street, Napa, CA. Tastings are by appointment only. Please call 707-226-8569 x 105 and ask for Megan Furth for an appointment.View from Tasting Room: Barrel Room