Vineyards Vineyards

The Vineyards

At Nicora, Nick farms his fruit from some of the most highly sought after vineyards on the Central Coast of California.  While these vineyards each have their own unique terroir, their owners share a commitment to sustainable farming and an absolute passion for quality.  It is in these vineyards that you often find Nick working closely with the vineyard owners throughout the entire growing season.

Bien Nacido Vineyard

Bien Nacido Vineyard

Santa Maria Valley

Situated at the top-end of the Santa Maria Valley, Bien Nacido Vineyard has become an iconic California vineyard. One that is sought after by many winemakers from around the United States.  I’m fortunate to receive a call in 2013 that my dream to farm from this vineyard had come true. That was a magical day!

The vineyard location, coupled with the history and fruit produced are a few of the attributes that lead me to this vineyard.  That and the fact that cool-climate Syrah is delicious!  Bien Nacido Vineyard boasts one of the longest growing seasons in the state which allows the fruit to fully ripen with a slow manner. These growing days include foggy mornings, warm afternoons and cool nights, the perfect home for grapes.

Owned with great pride by the Miller Family, who happens to be a fifth generation California farming family, can trace the history of this land back to 1837.  They take great care of this land and work closely with every person who farms from this site.  It is a true pleasure to work with them and their land.


Vineyard Distinction

AVA: Santa Maria Valley
Elevation: 200 - 1,500 feet
Planted: 1973
Soil Composition: mixture of stellar soils
Acreage: 800

Nicora Distinction

Block Exposure: Southwest
Varieties: Syrah

Denner Vineyard

Denner Vineyard

Willow Creek District | Paso Robles

First planted in 1999, Denner vineyard is situated within the Willow Creek District of the Paso Robles AVA.  The vineyard enjoys the coolness of the marine layer many mornings throughout the year, which is a nice break for the vines before they soak in the warm afternoon sun. This combination of cool and warm weather patterns results in a large diurnal temperature swing, thus giving this vineyard ideal growing conditions to farm fruit of excellent flavor.

Denner Vineyards is committed to environmentally friendly farming practices, using only sustainable inputs and minimal irrigation. The result is beautiful fruit translating true varietal expressions in the glass.


Vineyard Distinction

AVA: Paso Robles
District: Willow Creek
Elevation: 1,200 feet
Planted: 1999
Soil Composition: limestone rich
Acreage: 156 with 108 planted

Nicora Distinction

Block Exposure: East
Varieties: Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon

Fulldraw Vineyard

Fulldraw Vineyard

Willow Creek District | Paso Robles

Being located in the Willow Creek District and very near the Templeton Gap, Fulldraw Vineyard is heavily influenced by the cooling winds of the oceanic climate that is to the west. A fresh reprieve from the warm daytime temperature ensures that the grapes ripen optimally while maintaining the delicate acidity. This Paso Robles westside location is dotted with broken limestone and shale which result in minimal grape yields, but always intensely flavored. Started by Rebecca and Connor McMahon in 2012, we find this location not only special to our hearts for it's fruit, but also to the friendships that have grown here as well.


Vineyard Distinction

AVA: Willow Creek District
Elevation: 1100 feet
Planted: 2007
Soil Composition: Broken limestone & shale
Acreage: 100

Nicora Distinction

Block Exposure: North (Syrah), East (Grenache), South (Mourvedre)
Varieties: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre

Russell Family Vineyard

Russell Family Vineyard

Willow Creek District | Paso Robles

Shallow, rocky, limited water and warm days may sound daunting to some, but to vineyard owners and winemakers these descriptors are music to our ears!  Russell Family Vineyard holds each of these attributes and more, all of which drive the vines to produce incredible clusters with rich flavor.

Located within the Willow Creek District, this western positioned vineyard is composed of rolling hills, highlighted by a blanket of limestone rich soils.  The variable elevations and sun exposures allow the vines to soak up the warmth of the sun throughout the day then cool when the night air envelops the vineyard.  These chalky white soils unite perfectly with the west Paso Robles climate, encouraging the vines to produce opulent clusters boasting remarkable natural acidity.

Vineyard owner, Erich Russell, has poured his heart into this vineyard.  Before planting, in 1996, he carefully researched the vineyard’s soils then precisely matched varieties and clones to each specific location within the site.  This care and passion is what drew me to this vineyard, and I look forward to crafting wine from this exceptional fruit for years to come.


Vineyard Distinction

AVA: Paso Robles
District: Willow Creek
Elevation: 1,800 feet
Planted: 1996
Soil Composition: mostly limestone and shale, patches of alluvial along streams, largely calcareous
Acreage: 50

Nicora Distinction

Block Exposure: Southwest
Varieties: Syrah and Mourvèdre

Shadow Canyon Vineyard

Shadow Canyon Vineyard

York Mountain AVA

Adjacent to the west portion of the Paso Robles AVA, the York Mountain AVA is quite the individual.  Set amongst an oak forest, and just miles from the Pacific Ocean, York Mountain is one of the smallest AVA's in California at only 640 acres.  This mountain is not a stranger to vineyards, as it is home to the first bonded winery on the Central Coast, which was established in 1882.  Though only gaining AVA status in 1983, others have long seen how special this mountain is, and I am so lucky to source fruit from this magical place.

The mountain is abundant with low-vigor soils and steep slopes.  Seven miles, as the crow flies, from the Pacific Ocean, this tiny AVA is the fortunate recipient of soft morning fog, cool ocean breezes throughout the day and long hours of sunshine.  These unique attributes contribute to an extended growing season thus producing balanced fruit with refined intensity and characters unique to vineyards found closer to the coast.   

When owner, Gary Gibson, purchased this property in 1996 he knew this cool-climate area would be the perfect place to grow Grenache and Syrah.  To do this, he himself spent two years building the road, fences and adding underground electrical before planting in 1998.  That hard work has resulted in fruit I’m very proud to showcase at Nicora.


Vineyard Distinction

AVA: York Mountain
Elevation: 1,500 feet
Planted: 1998
Soil Composition: sandy, loamy
Acreage: 11

Nicora Distinction

Block Exposure: Southwest
Varieties: Syrah

Slide Hill Vineyard

Slide Hill Vineyard

Edna Valley AVA

Located at the southern end of the Edna Valley AVA against the Santa Lucia mountain range, Slide Hill Vineyard is a breathtaking site. Less than five miles from the Pacific Ocean, this vineyard rests just above sea level in elevation.  This proximity allows the vineyard to enjoy the coastal breezes that sweep through the Edna Valley every day.

Planted predominantly to Syrah, with a smattering of other varieties, this vineyard is Demeter Biodynamic certified since 2009.  This practice falls into line with my philosophy of very minimal handling of the soils, vines and fruit.  The Syrah off this vineyard is a dream come true. Lush and vibrant, there is a sort of softness to the berries that I quite enjoy.

Today, this vineyard is owned and farmed by Brook Williams and his siblings. Though this site has quite the history, even in its young age. This property was originally established by the vibrant Bob Linquist of Qupe. I feel very fortunate to be farming fruit from this cool climate vineyard, and enjoy working alongside the Williams family.


Vineyard Distinction

AVA: Edna Valley
Elevation: 325 - 470 feet
Planted: 2005
Soil Composition: limestone, shale and volcanic
Acreage: 39

Nicora Distinction

Block Exposure: East and West
Varieties: Syrah