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Morisoli Vineyard Rutherford, California

Situated along Niebaum Lane, just west of Highway 29 in the center of the historic Rutherford Bench. The contiguous, 53-acre vineyard sits at the base of Mt. St. John on alluvial soils from the Mayacamas Range. These well-drained, gravelly bale-clay and pleasanton-loam soils consistently yield wines of great complexity, firm tannins, and abundant fruit flavors.


Morisoli Vineyard, Rutherford

Morisoli Vineyard, Rutherford

Vineyard Map

Vineyard Blocks

Vines & Farming

The vineyard is farmed by the Morisoli Family as it has been since 1902. Gary, Melody, and their son Chris Morisoli use original tractors and vintage implements to farm the old way. A French plow is used to remove weeds around the vines instead of using sprays, and the vineyard is disced regularly to maintain moisture in the soil. Irrigation is used sparingly during the summer to maintain vine health during heat spells. Harvest is completed in the early morning by hand using the same crew, year to year. Cover crops of plow-down legumes (Sweet Peas, Vetch and Fava Beans) are planted to return nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil every year after harvest and sub-soil ripping.

Plinio Mario (PM) Block 18 Acres

Named for the second-generation who worked this vineyard for over 70 years. Plinio’s block was the original 10 acre block purchased in 1910, then expanded to 18 acres in 1934. It is currently producing Clone 4 Cabernet Sauvignon on O39-16 rootstock and was replanted between 1994 and 1996. It is set in 8’ rows by 6’ vine spacing and bilaterally cordon trained. Current Producers: Amici Cellars, Beaulieu Vineyards, Elyse Winery, Nickel & Nickel, Orin Swift.

Zieger Block 10 Acres

Named for the last owner, Richard Zieger who owned the property from 1939 until his death in 1991. Then purchased and replanted by Gary Morisoli in 1992, it is currently producing Clone 7 Cabernet Sauvignon on 110R and 1103P rootstock. It is set in 8’ rows and 6’ (1103P) and 8’ (110R) vine spacing. Current Producers: Morisoli Vineyard, Etude Winery, Sequoia Grove, Trujillo Wines.

Zieger Zinfandel 7 Acres

Planted by Gary Morisoli for Richard Zieger in 1985. These vines are vertically trained, planted on a mixture of St. George and AXR rootstock and set in 8’ rows and 8’ vine spacing. This section of vineyard was one of the sources for the original Prisoner red blend by Dave Phinney of Orin Swift. Current Producers: Elyse Winery, Biale Vineyards, Hourglass Wines.

Old Block 2 Acres

Last remaining section of the original vineyard. Originally planted in 1880’s, it fell victim to Phylloxera in and was replanted in the 1910s. It is spaced at 7’x7’ planting, head trained, cross cultivated and dry farmed. Approximately 30-40% of the original planting is still producing and includes an incredible field blend of; Alicante bouschet, Carignan, Durif, Grand noir de la Calamette, Muscat Hamburg, Negrette, Syrah, Valdiguie, and Zinfandel all on St. George rootstock. This vineyard was cataloged and sampled in 2001 by Jean Michel-Boursiquot, ampelographer and Director of ENTAV, France. He estimated the original cuttings came from the Inglenook “Gate Vineyard” which has long been replaced. The cuttings taken and re-propagated by UC Davis Foundation Plant Material Sciences, were cleaned of viruses and now are available as the “Morisoli Clone.” Current Producer: Morisoli Vineyard

Philip Old Block 10 Acres

Named for the third-generation who purchased a 17 acre section from Lowell Edington on Manley Lane. He then sold this block to Gary Morisoli in 1987. It is currently producing Clone 4 Cabernet Sauvignon on 110R rootstock and was planted in 1990. It is set in 10’ rows by 6’ vine spacing and bilaterally cordon trained. Current Producers: V. Sattui, Orin Swift

Philip New Block 7 Acres

Newest replanting of the 17 acre block. This section of vineyard was redeveloped in 2017 and is planted to Clone 4, 7 & 8 on O39-16 rootstock. It is set on 8’ rows by 6’ vine spacing and is bilaterally cordon trained. Current Producers: Amici Cellars, Etude Winery, Nickel & Nickel.

Single Vineyard Wine Producers

We pride ourselves on long-lasting relationships with wineries who have purchased our fruit for years. Less than two percent of our grapes are made into our Morisoli Vineyard estate grown wines. Visit these producers and see what makes them special and why we enjoy working with them.


Amici

Blockbuster wines made by Tony Biagi and Dante West. Amici makes an exceptional Morisoli single vineyard wine, which every year regularly receives the highest acclaims from discerning wine critics.

Elyse Winery

Our longest winery partnership. Each year since 1987 Elyse has made a Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon single vineyard wine from Morisoli Vineyard. Crafted by winemaker Russell Bevan, these wines are powerful and exquisitely made.

Etude

Etude produces an exceptional Morisoli single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from winemaker Jon Priest. His wines are lauded as elegant & refined and score very high points with multiple wine critics. Our relationship has gone back to the early 90’s with Etude, originally selling grapes to and working closely with owner and winemaker, Tony Soter.

Hourglass

Since 2023 Hourglass Winery Led by Jeff Smith and winemaker Tony Biagi began making a beautiful single vineyard Zinfandel from our Zieger Block. Their rendition showcases the strength and finesse of Zinfandel grown on the Rutherford Bench.

Nickel & Nickel

As of 2023, Nickel & Nickel has begun to create their own version of a Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemakers Joe Harden and Phil Holbrook focus on special sites within Napa Valley to craft limited production, single vineyard wines.

Robert Biale Vineyards

Bob Biale and David Natali craft beautiful, true to varietal wines including a single vineyard Morisoli Zinfandel from our Zieger block. They sell out fast and are typically only released to club members.

Sequoia Grove Winery

Every year since 1994, Michael Trujillo, Molly Hill and now Jesse Fox created an elegant Cabernet Sauvignon from Morisoli Vineyard. This beautiful showing of wine is only accessible to wine club members, or directly from the tasting room.

Trujillo Wines

Previously the head winemaker at Sequoia Grove, Mike Trujillo now makes wine under his own label. Since working with Morisoli Vineyard in the early 1990’s, Mike understands the intricacies of the vineyard and creates an exceptional single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon yearly.

V. Sattui Winery

One of our longest grape purchasing partners, V. Sattui Winery makes an outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon from the Morisoli Vineyard. Winemaker Brooks Painter ensures great attention to detail to create a fantastic and powerful wine year after year.

According to the Historic Vineyard Society, there are only nine sites planted before 1920 left in Napa Valley. Morisoli Vineyard’s two-acre “Old Block,” planted in 1902, is one of them.

Lisa Perrotti Brown
Morisoli Illustration of Tractor and Vines

Morisoli Wines Are Offered By Allocation

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