Willow Creek District, Paso Robles, California
The Hartenberger family began planting the estate vineyard in the spring of 1995. The button staking was done in-house (a larger undertaking than anticipated!). As it turned out, each vine required an auger through five feet of solid rock. After a few weeks and approximately 1000 holes, the family enlisted assistance for the remaining 17,000 holes that needed to be dug.
The estate was then planted with the five different varietals: eight acres of Chardonnay (Teresa Angela District); eight acres of Cabernet Sauvignon (Robert Scott District); eight acres of Merlot (Eugene District); eight acres of Zinfandel (Patricia Jane District); and a half acre of Petit Verdot. Each district name pays homage to Mary Jane and Robert's grandchildren. The Bordeaux varietals are planted on south facing slopes while the Chardonnay and Zinfandel are both terraced.
The established vineyard now yields one to two tons of beautiful fruit per acre. The investment in the farm is higher than most because of variables including elevation changes and nutrients. We strive continuously to grow the best fruit each year, fruit that we could not afford otherwise. This estate fruit remains solely in the Midnight wine portfolio. The annual estate vineyard yield varies from 30 to 75 tons per year. The fruit is hand harvested ripe, requiring a little more time on the vine to assure the acidity necessary to produce wines with more strength and age ability.
ANDERSON ROAD VINEYARD
WILLOW CREEK AVA - PASO ROBLES
In 2007, two acres of head-trained Malbec was planted on the tasting room property, which is located off the Highway 46 just five minutes west off the 101 Freeway. This fruit is featured in a Midnight's small production Malbec "Solstice" and the award winning "Zenith" Estate Cuvee.
Anderson Road is also the home of Midnight’s tasting room and winery facility.
TOWNSHIP ROAD VINEYARD
WILLOW CREEK AVA - PASO ROBLES
The 32-acre estate vineyard is situated in the newly established Willow Creek District, known for its strong marine influence, mountainous landscape and calcareous soils. This climate, topography, and soil composition create an environment for growing quality, low-yield, sustainably farmed grapes.
“The maturity of the vines adds to the full-bodied, complex and established flavor profile” says Rich Hartenberger. The root system reaches 25 to 30 feet through the shale and limestone rich soil. From the bottom of the vineyard to the top there is an elevation change of 500 feet. With a greater day-to-night temperature swing than any other appellation in California, the grapes in the Willow Creek District make for brilliant ripe fruit. The fruit that hangs on this three-wire trellised vineyard is entirely hand-picked.
PASO ROBLES, CALIFORNIA
Midnight Cellars was the 29th established winery in Paso Robles and is the happy neighbor of many notable vineyards, including Booker, Tooth & Nail, Caliza, Dark Star, and Grey Wolf.
Paso Robles' warm days and cool maritime influenced nights make it a prime growing location. The vineyard is planted on hillside and hilltop in shale and limestone-rich soil. The southwest sloping hills face the Pacific Ocean, influencing a temperature swing of 40-50 degrees from daytime to nighttime.