SABINA VINEYARDS was established in 2002 when David and Susan Sabin completed a major replanting of the vineyards on their hillside property in St. Helena to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. There has been a long tradition of grape growing on this property dating back to the late 1870’s, and the land still bears remnants of well-worn, redwood grape stakes and the cross members of pre-prohibition trellises. Sabina Vineyards is located in an historic corridor sharing a property line to the north with the Old Bale Grist Mill which was built in 1846 and is now a California State Park. Early settlers gathered at the water-powered grist mill to have their corn and wheat ground into meal or our. A long row of mature olive trees traverses the Sabin’s property, sheltering a road that was used by horse-drawn wagons to transport the corn meal and our from the mill into the town of St. Helena until the early 1900’s. An etching of this tree row that is depicted on the Sabina Vineyard’s label was made by the Sabin’s dear friend, Robert Kelly, an artist who resides in Santa Fe.
The sloping bench where Sabina Vineyards is situated along the foothills of the Mayacamas Range in the western part of St. Helena has become famous for the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon. Characteristics of this sub-appellation of the St. Helena AVA are red volcanic soils with a high iron content, a microclimate that funnels moisture from the Pacic Ocean and nearby bays into the area causing wide diurnal temperature swings, and the farming of premiere Bordeaux red grape varieties on sloping hillsides. Neighbors include such well-established winegrowers as Grace Family Vineyard, Vineyard 29 and their Aida Vineyard, Colgin’s Tychson Hill, and Stony Hill Vineyard. The wines produced from grapes grown in this area are classic, densely textured and elegant with power and finesse that are quite long-lived.
Vineyards surround the house and winery, and the Sabins have made a devoted commitment to organic farming. Rather than cutting down a large oak tree that shaded a small portion of the vineyard, they take care to allow these grapes to thoroughly ripen, selectively harvesting grapes from the surrounding vines first. The winery, which was built as the foundation of the Sabin’s home, was designed with the assistance of winemaker David DeSante to maximize an efficient flow for hands-on, artisanal wine production. Sabina Vineyards’ produces a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from this St. Helena Estate.