Kuchan Estate Lepi Bregi Vineyard
- Santa Clara Valley
- Santa Clara
- Current Owner
- Kuchan Family Estates
- Planted by
- The Marchetti Family in 1925
- Location Notes
The vineyard is in the San Francisco Bay region, part of the Pacific Coastal Range and dominated by the Santa Cruz Mountains to the northwest and the Diablo Range to the east. Lepi Bregi Vineyard lies on the east flank of the Santa Cruz Mountains on a thin layer of Holocene alluvial and marine deposits. The soil is reddish-brown Gravelly Sandy Clay with deeper deposits of Brown Sandstone at 15 feet. Ancient river bed and marine deposits show various sizes of river rocks and ancient shell deposits.
- Historical Producers
Storrs, David Bruce, Kuchan Cellars
The field blend yields full-bodied, rich-colored wines with aromas of red cherries, raspberries, and blue plums with Zinfandel’s spicy sweet earthy tannins. Full cluster, carbonic fermentation with native yeasts provide longer maceration and full skin color and tannin extraction by separating the free run and applying gentle pressings, while avoiding the over-extraction of tannins. Aging in French oak for 18+ months with minimal racking render a full-bodied, fragrant Zinfandel with the ability to age for an additional 10-15 years.
The original 17-acre vineyard was planted in 1925 by the Marchetti family. Head trained old vine Zinfandel with mixed plots of old vine Grenache, Carignane and Grand Noir de la Calmette (a teinturier grape that is the crossing of Petit Bouschet and Aramon Noir) planted on St. George. Vineyard plots are situated on rolling hills on the edge of the ancient river bed and were dry farmed for several decades with roots reaching 40-50 feet deep. Clay loom soil with ancient marine layers, river deposits and large river rocks provide ample drainage and rich minerality. The vines are exposed to consistent light afternoon winds, which dry the vineyard, minimize diseases, and reduce the need for spraying.
The fog bank rolling in from the Pacific coast through Hecker Pass cools the grapes overnight. The temperatures here can range +-40 degrees between morning and afternoon, allowing for longer hang time and rich flavor development.
Davorin Kuchan was raised in a winemaking family in Croatia. Narrow rows of head trained vines are manually farmed, pruned and picked. Grenache and Carignane are typically picked 2-3 weeks after the Zinfandel to allow bright, fruity aromas of classic Zinfandel to shine. Cooler mornings and afternoon breezes allow longer hang time with less risk of spoilage.
Wines are also used in the family-owned Old World Spirits distillery, to produce Blade Gin, Rusty Blade Gin, Kuchan Alambic Brandy and Kuchan Nocino, a Black Walnut liqueur with Estate grown walnuts growing alongside the vineyard.
- Submitted by
- Davorin Kuchan