Karibu Vineyard ~ The Zin Zone
Karibu Vineyard is located on the Silverado Bench, at the foot of the Atlas Peak AVA.
The Moore Zin Clone
Bob Biale, of Robert Biale Vineyards, selected the clone for Karibu Vineyard. The Zin clone used in Karibu’s vineyard is the famous R.W. Moore Clone. R.W.’s vineyard is only two miles from the Thathiahs’ vineyard property. Perhaps as a clone created within a very close proximity, it’s perfectly suited to the terroir of Karibu Vineyard, as it’s doing extremely well. This clone and where the wine grapes are growing have a given the fruit a great flavor profile.
There is a little elevation at Karibu Vineyard. Like water, cold air runs to lower spots, so chilly air at Karibu isn’t a consideration. As a result, this benchland has a slightly warmer climate, than the really low temps in the surrounding area. The vineyard also has some wind protection, from surrounding trees and elevations.
Doug Hill says that the soil at Karibu Vineyard is gravely loam, with impervious clay. There are about two feet of top soil, and then the soil becomes a hard clay. The roots can’t go very deep, and it doesn’t have a lot of water capacity; although, it has good drainage. It’s to the advantage of the vines that there’s not a lot of moisture in the area, as regards grape vine diseases. These new vines are very happy and healthy.
Karibu’s trellis system is three tiered, with a lot of space between each vine. It’s modeled after Lenz Moser’s high-culture style of training, recommended for the low-density planting of vines. This method helps to control the vines more. In this case, the canopy moves outward, letting the vines have more space. And, we want the vines to grow low to the ground. With low vines, it means that they won’t be bushy, which is better for low water demands; especially on the western side of the vineyard. This kind of a system equals a good balance on the vines. It also protects the fruit during the day. I call it “getting speckled sunlight” onto the fruit. It has good exposure, but it’s not drenched with sunlight during the day.