Our Wines & California Vineyards
Amy Thorn, owner and winemaker, is passionate about each artisan wine she crafts.
She personally selects and oversees each varietals production. Each vintage is created by premium fruit selection, fine winemaking, and master blending.
Always mindful of producing exceptional high quality wines, her discerning palate and unrelenting attention to detail produces small batch lots of quality wines with as little as a few hundred cases per varietal.
At ThornHill Vineyards the focus is small production, single vineyard wines from properties that are the most distinctive in their appellation. They strive to create full bodied, intensely flavored, richly textured wines of structure, depth and balance that reflect the specific qualities of each vineyard site.Good winemaking begins in the vineyard with nurturing the grapes in order to cultivate fruit that is imbued with the nuances of the terroir. Soil is prepared, vines are pruned and crops are thinned throughout the growing season to maximize the concentration of flavors in the grapes. They strive to achieve the height of ripeness, not only in the fruit but the stems, skins and seeds, all of which make up the characteristics of a truly superior wine.
Grapes are harvested and sorted by hand, allowing them to go through primary and secondary (malolactic) fermentation. With red wines skin contact is extended during winemaking which allows for increased complexity and richer color in the finished wine. Wines are aged in hand selected French oak barrels until optimal integration is achieved.
"The greatest gift you can give as a winemaker is to create a bottle of wine that is the purest expression of each varietal, a wine that is a combination of nature and nurture. Resulting in a vintage which represents a union between the fruit of the vine, richness of the earth and the passion of the winemaker." Amy Thorn, Winemaker
Red Hill’s Appellation
Mountain High Elevation:
Located in the diverse micro climate of the Red Hills, Thorn Hill Vineyards covers 50 gently sloping acres, within a mountainous terrain with elevations ranging from 1,400 to 3,000 feet above sea level. The cooling afternoon breezes found at these moderate elevations contribute to the favorable growing conditions of the region.
The Thorns were attracted to the Red Hills Appellation because of its ideal conditions for growing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes - rich, shallow volcanic soils that produce compact berries with powerful flavor. Wines produced from the local harvest tend to be big and bold, with complex fruity flavors that have a hint of wild berries, blackberries, cherries and spice. The trace minerals apparent in the volcanic soils lend earthy or flinty notes that add complexity to the wine.
Volcanic Mountainous Soil:
The soil in the Red Hills appellation are of volcanic origin from neighboring Mount Konocti and produce well drained earth that is rich in black obsidian and gravel content and strikingly red in color. Three general soil types predominate: Glenview-Bottle Rock-Arrowhead, Konocti-Benridge, and Collayomi-Aiken. The shallow depth and rich mineral content of the soils create an ideal environment for growing Cabernet Sauvignon and other premium grapes.
The Red Hills appellation benefits from a unique diurnal temperature pattern, with hot days tempered by afternoon winds that can cool nighttime temperatures by as much as 50 degrees. During the growing season daytime temperatures easily reach 90 degrees and above, but cool down each afternoon from breezes created by the sloping elevation changes around Mount Konocti and offshore winds from Clear Lake. The hot days nudge grapes to achieve full flavor and optimal ripeness. Whereas the cool nights help preserve the acidity of the grapes and enhance the balance and complexity of the fruit.