This map of the Old Stake 1901 Vineyard, near Kelseyville, was drawn by David DeSante just before the grapes were picked last year. In this age of digital maps and Google Earth aerial views at our fingertips, it seems to speak of an earlier time and an intimate, hands-on connection with the place that’s appropriate to a century old site. Surely something very much like this could have been sketched 100 or more years ago?
In many wineries, especially larger ones, the tasks of the vineyard and those of winemaking are kept quite separate, except at harvest time, but in the case of Dancing Crow, our husband and wife winemaking team of David and Katharine DeSante are closely involved in both activities.
The day-to-day management of our vineyards in Lake County is taken care of by David Weiss and his team at Bella Vista Farming, but the DeSantes are on the ground regularly. This is especially important at Old Stake because we’re still discovering what has actually been planted there since the first vines went into the ground in 1901. With the first vintage in 2018, we had identified just over 10 grape varieties, now we’re over 24 and counting! It is David and Katharine who walk the rows and figure out what’s what, just as they have done with their own vineyard, which offers a selection of unusual and historic wine wine varieties.
Check out their website and their wine – http://desantewines.com/