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Cornell Vineyards: producer profile

After more than a decade of experimentation, planting and zeroing in on their distinct Sonoma style, Henry and Vanessa Cornell released their first commercial wine in 2013. Today, their classically styled Spring Mountain Cabernets are firmly ensconced in California's top tier. Jonathan Cristaldi meets the Cornell Vineyards team and tastes a vertical of all the wines released to date.

On the western flank of Spring Mountain, on the Sonoma County side, amid the rugged terrain of the Mayacamas range sits a 97-hectare ranch. Vineyards were first cultivated here in the 1850s, then torn out in the 1920s during Prohibition.

The site lay fallow for 80 years, until Henry Cornell purchased it in 2000 and established Cornell Vineyards.

Originally, the ranch comprised 46.5ha of varying slopes and aspects in Sonoma’s sub-AVA of Fountaingrove District but had no vineyards to speak of. It was bookended, however, by Fisher Vineyards and Pride Mountain Vineyards, and is in the same neighbourhood as Terra Valentine and Immortal.

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores of a full vertical of Cornell Vineyards wines

Cornell Vineyards: a complete vertical, from 2013 to 2018

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