The rolling hills and gentle slopes near the town of Sebastopol were once home to apple orchards filled with songbirds. By the early 1990’s though, most of the orchards were replanted with grapes. The factors that define a quality Chardonnay vineyard are numerous, but Nick Goldschmidt believes matching varietal and rootstock to the right vineyard site yields the most flavorful grapes. High quality grapes grow only under certain optimum soil conditions, including a balance of nutrients within certain clays. These clay minerals play a critical role, as they can retain water and act as harbors for nutrients better than other soil types. Clays that offer slow nutrient transfer to grape vine plants are preferred.
The highest quality grapes grow on the fine-grained, shallow marine quartz sandstones of the Wilson Grove Formation, where Singing Tree is located. These formations tend to produce soils that are well balanced in nutrient content and water retention.