The 50 by 50 Estate is a twenty-three acre property situated southeast of the Atlas Peak AVA and north of the Wild Horse AVA. More specifically, it sits on the Monticello Road incline in the Wooden Valley of Napa, California. Starting at a roadside elevation of 830 feet, it meanders pleasantly down to 600 feet. The gentle slopes are covered with “forward gravelly loam”, a rich volcanic soil that drains well and lends itself perfectly to the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot varietals that are presently being planted there for the purpose of producing an exquisite, hand-crafted, biodynamically farmed, Bordeaux-style blend in the coming years.
The anchor of the 50 by 50 vision is the realization of a never-built architectural masterpiece known as the 50 by 50. Centrally located on the flat basin of the 50 by 50 Estate, it is the true inspiration of our namesake. Designed over 60 years ago by the pre-eminent, 20th Century Modernist architect, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, this perfectly square design is clad in high tempered glass panels measuring 8 x 25 x 10 feet. Therefore, each clear glass wall is bisected by only one vertical, load-bearing post. The view from inside gives the occupants an uninterrupted, 360 degree panorama of the 50 by 50 Estate with it’s gentle slopes, giant live oaks, terraced rows of grape vines and the mountains beyond.
Such an abode could only be sited on property where privacy is a fact of the geography. The many interior details of Mies’ vision should be completed by the fall of 2014. When completed, the 50 by 50 house will serve as the heart of the 50 by 50 Estate, available as a meeting place for tastings by appointment as well as being offered for special events and private celebrations. We will update those who visit this website with details of our progress and public schedule.
We at the 50 by 50 Estate are very excited that we are blessed with geological and microclimate advantages. Fog rolls in over the Palisades to the west of the property affording a cooling influence that extends our growing season and lets the grapes develop complex flavors. The hillside lie of the vine rows will make sure they drain well, stressing the vines, resulting in more intense fruit.
The 50 X 50 Estate also has an abundance of non-aquifer water and can tap water from its prodigious mountain spring. A boulder-lined reservoir will help capture and store this most valuable resource. The many stately live oak trees will be kept in place sharing the land with the grape vines. Fruit trees and beneficial plants will be added at vineyard end rows. Every measure will be taken to keep the abundant 24 inches of topsoil in place. Pest management will consist of the use of predator insects, native birds, and plant and mineral-based organic soap applications.
Annual: Hi 73.3 °F / Low 48.1 °F Rain in. 29.16
Growing Season: Hi 83 °F / Low 53.2 °F Rain in. 4.47